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Bon Jovi - 'Burning Bridges' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/83/2e/d5/bon-jovi-burning-bridges-44-1449776856.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 10, 2015    
 
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A "fan album" mostly for the fans indeed and not a particularly strong record music-wise.

We might as well switch from journalist jargon to the language of business here – Bon Jovi is one of these bands that straddle the fine line between a Rock act and a well-managed enterprise. But the last two years were no bed of roses for the Jersey syndicate. Richie Sambora's sudden decision to quit his well-paid job in the midst of the 2013 tour was a shock and disappointment for thousands of fans worldwide. Now, post-Sambora BJ returns with a short compilation of songs written in the earlier sessions – called 'Burning Bridges' – and not without a reason.

This album also sees Jon Bon Jovi splitting with Mercury Records after thirty-two years of partnership, this double divorce decree could have been a vitriolic, rage-driven record studded with heavier tunes harkening back to 'Keep The Faith' era. It could have been, but it isn't.

Basically, '...Bridges' is whatever one could have reasonably expected from BJ after the last few albums – a few mid-tempo offerings on the verge of Modern Rock and Pop and a couple of mellow ballads. There's also an occasional Country Pop flavour here and there ('Life Is Beautiful' or trenchant title cut with its obvious 'Love For Sale' references).

A few fine moments on the album are to be distinguished, though. 'A Teardrop To The Sea' and 'Who Would You Die For' have the same atmospheric vibe to it as '(It's Hard) Letting You Go' off 'These Days'. Had the arrangement been different, the over-produced and over-polished single track 'We Don't Run' could have become a decent Melodic Rock tune in its own right.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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But it's the lead guitar work on this album that surprises the most, even though it's not exactly six string wizardry. However, the producer John Shanks' stand-in job ('...Sea', '...For' or particularly 'Fingerprints' with its elaborate instrumental coda) is overall better than the parts delivered by seemingly irreplaceable Sambora on 'What About Now'. Was necessity a mother of improvement... to give the old adage a twist? One can only wonder.

As multi-platinum 'New Jersey' closed the Hair Metal era for Bon Jovi with its smash hits and 1980's panache, 'Burning Bridges' closes a whole bigger chapter in their history with just a handful of re-worked demos and a bootleg-quality release. A farewell that had to happen, it's a "fan album" mostly for the fans indeed and not a particularly strong record music-wise even in spite of several interesting moments.

More important however is the question what does the future hold in store for the band and what is 2016 (and the more distant future) going to bring – not another '...Jersey' for sure...

Alexandra Mrozowska

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