Bon Jovi – This House Is Not For Sale
2016, Island Records
- This House Is Not For Sale
- Living With The Ghost
- Labor of Love
- Born Again Tomorrow
- Roller Coaster
- New Year’s Day
- The Devil’s In The Temple
- Scars On This Guitar
- God Bless This Mess
- Come On Up To Our House
- Real Love
- All Hail The King
- We Don’t Run
Jon Bon Jovi – Lead Vocals
Phil X – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Hugh McDonald – Bass, Backing Vocals
David Bryan – Keyboard, Piano, Backing Vocals
Tico Torres – Drums
John Shanks – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Producers: Jon Bon Jovi & John Shanks
After releasing the melancholy and barely promoted Burning Bridges as their final album obligation to Universal Music Group-owned Mercury Records after 32 years, it seemed like the band had a bit of a chip on their shoulder about the state of the music industry and their record label. That release wasn’t really promoted by the band or Universal/Mercury. Though the official line is it was “for the fans”. That was actually a good album, though it was pretty obvious the band was just releasing something to finish up their contract and move on. Just listen to that album’s final track to understand the frustration the band felt in dealing with their label. Well. That spat with the label didn’t last long as the band once again finds themselves on Universal’s Island Records label.
So while the band’s label is pretty much the same again, there’s a few changes going on with personnel. Longtime bassist Hugh McDonald is finally listed as an official member of the band. The same goes for new guitarist Phil X, who has been playing with the band live ever since Sambora quit a few years ago. This marks Phil’s first album appearance with the band although I’ve read he played very little and a lot of the guitar work was left up to (surprise surprise) John Shanks, who is also now touring with the band as a second guitarist.
I really enjoyed the somberness of Burning Bridges and found a lot to enjoy on What About Now, but This House Is Not For Sale basically puts the band back into the bland category. It’s mostly a collection of generic anthems, lifeless rockers meant to be uplifting, and tiresome ballads that fit right in with the band’s most uninspired efforts from the mid/late ’00s.
I can’t not the ENTIRE album though. “Knockout” is a fairly competent heavy rocker (well, heavy for Bon Jovi) while “Labor of Love” sounds like it could’ve been on Burning Bridges, and “Real Love” is a pretty decent modern-day ballad for the band.
However, my advice to Jon? Get rid of John Shanks, bring back Richie Sambora, and let him co-write every single song on the next album. This one is only for die-hards.
Highlights: “Knockout”, “Labor of Love”, “Real Love”, “We Don’t Run”