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CD Reviews: Review of Have A Nice Day by Bon Jovi
Smola Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com Bon Jovi: Have A Nice Day (Island  2005)

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Is this record as good as …? That is the quandary that Aerosmith faces each time a new release is put out when critics want to know if it measures up to Rocks or Toys in the Attic. The Stones have Exile on Main Street as their measuring stick, and Bon Jovi, the world’s most successful bar band, has 1986’s Slippery When Wet. After the comparison is made, the question must become: is this material enjoyable? Have a Nice Day is not Slippery When Wet, but it is a darn good listen from a band that has the ability to still sell lots of records and fill arenas, unlike the majority of bands that charted when Bon Jovi released their eponymous debut some 21 years ago.

Lyrically, Bon Jovi still won’t take any shit, and don’t want you to take any, either. “Have a Nice Day” tells us that:
“I ain’t gonna do what I don’t want to: I’m gonna live my life
Shining like a Diamond, rolling with the dice
Standing on the ledge, I’ll show the wind how to fly
When the world gets in my face, I say..
Have a nice day”

“Last Man Standing” sheds insight into the pride the boys feel about still being around while shooting some sardonic perspective at the industry:
“There’s no dancers, there’s no diamonds
No, this boy don’t lip sync
Here’s the last man standing,
Step right up, here’s the real thing

Despite having riches and fame beyond imagination, the chip is still on the shoulder, and the boys feel like they need to remind the world that they have never forgotten where they came from and the pride they get from still being relevant in a fickle industry. There is something to prove, even if you are married to Heather Locklear.

There is nothing terribly original about the sound of the record, in which several tracks are constructed especially for the arena like the aforementioned title track, “I Want to Be Loved”, and “I Am,” as well as tear jerking ballads like “Bells of Freedom,” “Wildflower” (complete with a string section) and a song like “Last Cigarette,” which sticks in your head and won’t get out. The most satisfying cut on the disc is the `countrified’ version of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” (the song appears on the album in two forms), a duet with Jennifer Nettles from country juggernaut Sugarland. The New Jersey hair metal survivors sound as if they are having the times of their lives while mandolins and steel guitars swirl out the melody. Even though this is the only artistic stretch on the record, the rest of Have a Nice Day is competent and worthy of consistent toe tapping. 

~R. David Smola 


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