This House is Not for Sale
This is not your mama’s Bon Jovi. The most famous head of hair in rock ’n’ roll is short and grey these days, and its owner no longer writes songs about runaways, cowboys or New Jersey mating rituals. But after more than 30 years, Bon Jovi are still making hit records. The title track here is as good a song as Jon Bon Jovi has ever written. As he grows older, he mixes a bold defiance (of age, injustice and negativity) with a more mature appreciation for love, life and hope. The album is a kissing cousin of 2005’s Have a Nice Day, from the clanging guitar intro to the in-your-face defiance and resolve Bon Jovi shows, as he claims his legacy and fiercely defends it. Living with the Ghost is about moving on from a turbulent past – it could also reference how Bon Jovi has refused to let the absence of founding guitarist Richie Sambora end the band or dim its output. Replacement Phil X adds a new element to the classic Bon Jovi sound. Knockout is a fist-pumping anthem to aggression, built around the bass line from Billy Idol’s White Wedding. And Rollercoaster has a chorus so catchy, you’ll swear you’ve known it for years.