By Madyson McGill
Bon Jovi has surfaced once again with their latest album, This House Is Not For Sale, their 14th album to be released. Wow. If I’m being honest, the last time I even heard Jon Bon Jovi’s voice was in that movie New Year’s Eve back in 2011. I also didn’t really like the song he did for the film, but it would’ve probably fit really well as a credit song for the movie. Not to mention, I remember hearing the snippet of “Shot Through the Heart” from “You Give Love a Bad Name” in a number of scenes where some character in a show gets, well, shot through the heart, leading to a fan editing the music over the scene and posting it.
But anyway, I was actually surprised by this album even though I didn’t think they were even making music anymore. The first track is the title track, “This House Is Not For Sale,” and, to me, it sounds like it could’ve come from any one of their albums. It’s a standard title track with an upbeat rock sound. It really doesn’t stand out to me. I might sing it out loud in my car and tap along to the drum on my steering wheel, but I don’t think it’s a track they’ll eventually be known for.
However, I liked the track “Born Again Tomorrow,” which is much better. It’s hard to explain but it feels a bit more modern while also having a classic feel to it. It has an overall timelessness to it. I was also really into the guitar solo. It’s one of those songs someone would play on a road trip. There’s just endless road in front of you and you turn the volume up and just let loose with your friends while flipping your hair around.
As for some of their other songs, their track “Knockout” takes a step away from the classic rock sound and leans more towards a pop rock sound: it’s modern and fast paced. Another song I find similar to it is their song “Rollercoaster.” I really enjoyed how this song starts off slow, picking up kind of like a roller coaster as it progresses. The beginning is the ascent up the hill and then once it gets to the chorus, it’s soaring down the hill. The only thing that takes away from the song is that the way the chorus is set up it reminds me a bit of “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. Both artists have distinctly different voices but the beat reminds me of it.
AIso, I’m a sucker for slow songs. So, it’s no surprise that I love the track “Scars On This Guitar.” Talk about an achingly gorgeous ballad. It does strike me as a bit country but it’s still so powerful. I also like hearing Jon Bon Jovi’s voice so vulnerable. There aren’t any theatrics; it’s just a stripped down, beautiful track.
Overall, This House Is Not For Sale is a solid album. I wouldn’t say it’s their best but Bon Jovi has been doing this for a long time, and they’re still good at it. They know how to make music, sell albums, and be Bon Jovi.