Bounce

The pleasures of Bon Jovi are inseparable from their limitations: They will always find a way to please the crowd. The same lack of subtlety that produces supremely catchy choruses also leads to a ballad titled "You Had Me From Hello." Updating its pop-rock sound simultaneously in opposite directions, the band co-wrote the single "Everyday" with Andreas Carlsson, one of the Swedish studio wizards behind the Backstreet Boys, while "Undivided" has a slurring riff that would be at home on a Korn record. The title Bounce is meant to be an exhortation to America after 9/11, and if it doesn't exactly offer poetic catharsis, the existence of the eighth Bon Jovi record is reassurance of a different kind: Life goes on. You wouldn't want Wendy's to stop making grilled-chicken sandwiches, either.

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