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BON JOVI - HAVE A NICE DAY - UNIVERSAL
Record Rating: ***

Bon Jovi - Have A Nice Day - Universal Anthems like Livin' On A Prayer, Keep The Faith, Always and the more recent It's My Life can still be heard on rock radio stations today, making these boys the sole survivors of the Ď80s Hard Rock era. Record sales attest to their popularity with the masses ~ they've sold nearly 100 million albums worldwide and played over 2,000 concerts in 47 countries before more than 31 million fans.

I've been listening to Bon Jovi since I was a kid. Keep The Faith was their first album I bought and I've been at the store to pick up each new album as they were released. Their latest release ~ Have A Nice Day ~ did seem promising. For one, it debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart with first-week sales of 202,000 ~ the group's highest first week ever.

At first listen, itís a typical Bon Jovi release: rock songs with a contagious chorus (the first single Have A Nice Day); choppy growling guitar work (Bells Of Freedom) and the mid paced heartbreak chuggers (Wildflower). Nothing really stands out on the thirteen-track play list when compared to what theyíve done in the past. Itís worth a listen, but if you're a long time Bon Jovi fan, you donít have plenty to smile about. This is the same band that in the wakes of grunge rock in the Ď90s, went on to top the charts everywhere with singles like I Believe, In These Arms and Bed Of Roses becoming the anthems of a generation.

Unless the world has changed irredeemably, the ballad I Am is destined to become another Bon Jovi standard. It salvages this release from simply being a mediocre one. It's a decent record, but breaks absolutely no new ground in the Bon Jovi catalogue.

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