Have A Nice Day

The girls who grooved to Slippery When Wet back in 1986 have gotten married and bought SUVs, but Bon Jovi have kept their arena anthems simple and sweaty — so much so that hating the New Jersey quartet seems silly at this point. Have a Nice Day, their ninth studio album, is as reliable as it is contained: Acoustic ballads such as "Bells of Freedom" are vaguely icky, but powerhouse anthems like "I Want to Be Loved" pack almost as much singalong potential as "Livin' on a Prayer" did back in the day. The band even works up some roots rock on "Who Says You Can't Go Home," On the lighter-waver "Welcome to Wherever You Are," Jon Bon Jovi philosophizes like Forrest Gump in leather pants: "Maybe we're all different/But we're still the same." Well put, lad.

x