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By Rebecca Brooks
The Jersey rock band, Bon Jovi, is back with their 13th studio album, “This House Is Not For Sale.” It is their first album that does not feature the group’s lead guitarist and co-songwriter, Richie Sambora.
Bon Jovi has been an integral part of the hard rock scene since the 80s, most notable for their hit singles “Livin on a Prayer,” “It’s My Life” and “You Give Love a Bad Name.” They channel some of that same glam metal energy into “This House Is Not For Sale.”
The title track has a heavy guitar riff that brings out the old school Bon Jovi sound. It also has a bit of a country twang to it that brings a fresh new edge to the band.
The album has several good, hard rock-heavy tracks that keep you entertained from start to finish.
“Knockout” provides a wonderful opening that instantly captivates you, knowing you are going to be in for a treat. The track “Born Again Tomorrow” shares this quality, and the melody is a memorable one. The guitar solo that occurs during the bridge is also notable to mention. The message that life has its ups and downs found within “Roller Coaster” makes it a must-listen track. The song has a catchy upbeat chorus you’ll be singing along to instantly.
“The Devil’s in the Temple” proves to be the album’s standout track. The chorus goes hard, with the incorporation of piano that adds something new to the album. Jon Bon Jovi’s vocals especially shine through with this song, and there is an overall emotional air throughout.
However, the album is not without its faults. Some of the songs come off repetitive and are basically the same song with different words and slight changes. “God Bless This Mess” is an example of this, as it sounds like the first half of the album mashed together. “Labor of Love,” which is the band’s latest single, proves to be the weakest song on the album. If a more acoustic sound was desired, “Scars on This Guitar” provides it better and would have been a good single choice.
While there is a nice contrast in “This House Is Not For Sale,” some songs are far too similar. Only a few tracks truly stand out from the rest, while others just seem like an offshoot of previous material.
Overall, there are still glimpses of classic Bon Jovi that can be found, but the changes may be hit and miss for most fans.