Bon Jovi
Lost Highway


2.5
average

Review

by John Cruz USER (88 Reviews)
June 24th, 2007 | 16 replies | 8,990 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bon Jovi goes country? I wouldn't bet my saddle on it. Or the farm. Please, someone shoot this horse and put it out of its misery.

'O Lord, he's a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n roll. And the world is topsy turvy.

Well, not really. As a matter of fact as Jon Bon Jovi himself has stated (clearing up an earlier statement) Lost Highway is not a country album, as had been rumored. Hell, I drag more country into my car by the bottom of my boot after pulling over to take a piss at the side of the road. Nope, according to band leader Bon Jovi, Lost Highway is merely “inspired by” and “influenced by” country music. And “Nashville.” Whatever that means?

And apparently what it means for Jon Bon Jovi and crew is pretty much the same old studio rock they have been shucking for well over twenty years, with some accordion, fiddle, and mandolin thrown in for good measure. Featuring lyrics that don't sound like they could be in a truck commercial (hello Mr. Mellencamp) but rather like they were inspired by the commercial itself, if this album is about being influenced and inspired by Nashville songwriting and country music as Jon says, it is very recent Nashville and the shallow, commercial driven rock that often comes with it. These are songs Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, or Shania Twain would welcome on their records as the “Rock” cuts or country “power ballad.” In other words, this is Bon Jovi older, softer, and a little wiser. And like the pop/rock/top 40 music many current Nashville artists dabble in, it is little of what you and I would consider country music, period. Or even roots rock. This is Bon Jovi.....over 40 and on the playlist at Starbucks. Rock n Roll can't get much worse....

Be that as it may, however, this is ground Bon Jovi knows very well, and Lost Highway exploits it for all it's worth. You get the idea from the second track forward no matter what Jon says about this album being about “artistic and musical freedom,” that only goes so far with this band. How far, you ask? Well, of the rockers on the album Summertime with it's John Mellencamp lite riffs and embarrassing lyrics (“summertime....beach blanket and a bottle of wine”) is probably the most catchy. And without doubt the god awful worst is the 'made for a Monday Night Football intro' We Got It Goin' On, complete with a generic stomp rhythm and lyrics that rhyme bangin' with sangin'. As in “we're bangin' and sangin' just like the Rollin' Stones.” Hey, maybe if they'd thrown in a twangin' somewhere they would be real country?

Meh, probably not. A full half of the album is comprised of ballads, and if Lost Highway has a saving grace, that's it. These aren't country either, but no worries. In the musical climate of “Today's Country” it hardly matters. You see the truth of the matter is Bon Jovi didn't go to Nashville, Nashville came to them. Watering down every last shred of authenticity it had to offer and cow towing to fans who are “pure country” but want to rock out after church on Sunday, Nashville and many of it's premier artist have made a shift to the pop/rock center while throwing in a twang or two just to assure us all is well. It's this center Bon Jovi now happily occupy. A rock band inspired and influenced by a Nashville that has sold out to the kind of mainstream studio rock that would make even the guys in Boston cringe. So with the latter half of the album being made up of ballads such as the brashly sentimental Seat Next To You, the over the top We Ain't Strangers Anymore (a duet featuring Leann Rimes) and the dreary Everybody's Broken, at least we get some music that is neither rock or country, but rather pretty pop ballads adorned with quaint instrumentation and serviceable lyrics and vocals. A little bit country, a little bit rock n roll? Nah, but at least these songs are pleasant pap, same as Bon Jovi ballads ever were.

Country music is a main ingredient in rock n roll. Countless rock musicians have played / written country music as either a side track to what they ordinarily do, or incorporate it directly into their music. From The Beatles to Neil Young, Springsteen and Mellencamp, CSN, The Rolling Stones, The Who, X, The Eagles, and newer artists such as Wilco, Son Volt, Ryan Adams, and The Knitters. These artist and songwriters (among many others) have made music that is arguably more country then many so called country artist make, and at the very least have shown an understanding of what country music is and where it came from. Lost Highway has none of that on it's mind, however. Devoid of any country heart, country soul, or country swing, if Bon Jovi had started out a country band and decided to play mainstream rock, this is what it would sound like. Same as it ever was, same as they'll always be. So much for making the most of your newfound “artistic freedom.”



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Phil
June 24th 2007



1473 Comments


Sounds like crap. I think I'll give it a miss. Nice review.

Fort23
June 24th 2007



2474 Comments


Excellent review. Bon Jovi is like my guilty pleasure, but I hate, HATE, new country so I won't be looking at this.

dub sean
June 24th 2007



980 Comments


I saw him on The View [my mom left it on I swear] and his performance was so boring I turned it off.

Tyler
Emeritus
June 24th 2007



7928 Comments


it's misery.

its

The Jungler
June 24th 2007



4827 Comments


This sounds really lame, which is far from a surprise.
Good job.

JohnXDoesn't
June 24th 2007



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

..... The View

:lol:
This Message Edited On 06.24.07

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2007



6085 Comments


thanks cocaine i'll make sure to go over your reviews and leave obsessive little comments pointing out the typos/mistakes. very good of you thanks a million

Thanks, Cocaine. I'll make sure to go over your reviews and leave obsessive little comments pointing out the typos and mistakes. Very good of you; thanks a million.

Very good review, but I have always disliked Bon Jovi.

JohnXDoesn't
June 24th 2007



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ninja edit :cool:This Message Edited On 06.24.07

Oddsen
June 24th 2007



1127 Comments


nice truck commercial reference :thumb: I hate those chevy commercials grrrrr

ValiumMan
June 24th 2007



493 Comments


This sounds like ye same ol' soft rock, but given another label to make it more uhmm... "interesting".

El_Goodo
June 24th 2007



1008 Comments


The new single Make A Memory is the worst Bon Jovi song I've ever heard...the guitar is annoying and so is his "whisper" voice. I'm a fan of his Slippery When Wet material, and a few of the songs off Crush. But Have A Nice Day was terrible...the ugly rhyme of "One last cigarette, I would savor it" still haunts my dreams...and this album doesn't promise to be any better.

JAD
June 25th 2007



200 Comments


Great review, it made me laugh. This sounds like everything I expected it would be.

Patrick
June 25th 2007



1891 Comments


saw this in the store, looked at the names of the songs, said to myself "stupid" then walked away.

Alex3000
June 27th 2007



1 Comments


just a short update with a special website of this release:
http://bon-jovi-lost-highway.info/

xmattxhardcore
December 9th 2007



422 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wow is this cd ever bad or what

Mendigo
January 24th 2008



2299 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

cool review ;)
I have this album somewhere on my pc and never listened to it. right now i'm wondering if i should waste some time and give it a try?
because every now and then you need to hear something bad just to really appreciate all the wonderful music again.



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