10:25 AM 7th October 2020
Bon Jovi - 2020 (Island Records)
It cannot be denied that 2020 has been a year that we will not forget. It has given Jon Bon Jovi plenty of subject matter to write about which forms most of the lyrical content of the band’s new album.
You Give Love A Bad Name and Living On A Prayer are the big hits that many associate with the American band - that was over 30 years ago and the world is a different place since then.
The first track on the album, Beautiful Drug is classic Bon Jovi and the lyric really does not set you up for what is to come later on. The song will be a good opening to the live shows when touring becomes possible again. If he had any political thoughts they are are hidden at the moment.
Things start dealing with 2020 issues though, Unbroken is a ballad that talks about the suffering soldiers experience with post traumatic stress disorder. “Where is my country, where is my brothers” he sings on the song where he informs us that 22 soldiers will die today from suicide.
Limitless might already be familiar as the song has been released as a single. As Bon Jovi delivers a message about life being limitless. The advice that “life is an open door, what are you waiting for” does feel like a call to make the best of life. Delivered over a rousing template it is Bon Jovi at their best.
Brothers in Arms is a call for unity on a blues infused track that could be the Rolling Stones, whilst the waltz like ballad Story of Love apparently deals with the family growing up.
Blood in the Water, a moving ballad that Bruce Springsteen would suit mentions his wife, daughter and three sons.
American Reckoning talks about the death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement over a thought provoking ballad.
The album closes with Do What You Can - on a more rockier note the previously released single mentions all the people working on the front line during the current pandemic, “what this world needs is a hug” he sings.
I wasn’t expecting Bon Jovi to come up with an album as good as this - it stands proudly alongside their other albums - and is probably one of their best yet.
I rate the album 4 out of 5