I picked up Bon Jovi's new album, Lost Highway, a couple weeks ago.
I'm disturbed. Miffed. Somewhat disappointed.
Since when is Bon Jovi a country band?!?!?!?! They are supposed to be rock! Pop rock, yes, but I want guitars and percussion and bass, not twangy fiddles. I know that their duet version of "Who Says You Can't Go Home" with country singer Jennifer Nettles on their last album became the first number one single by a rock band on the country charts, but does that warrant making the next album almost entirely country-flavored? What about people like me that aren't particularly country fans and like Bon Jovi for their rockiness? I'm pretty sure their core fan base isn't any more fond of country than I am. Sure, we all bought this album cuz we couldn't tell from the first single ("[You Want to] Make A Memory") that the majority of the songs would be country-influenced (although I had my suspicions, since it features artists like Leann Rimes and Big & Rich on a couple tracks). But are we going to buy the next one? I don't know if I am.
Here's Jon's explanation and defense of how this album sounds. The first two-minute segment is specifically addressing this issue of countrification.
Of all the songs on Lost Highway, "Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore," is actually my favorite so far. Oddly enough, it's probably the most country track, but it's the kind of country I like, sort of old-fashioned-sounding or something. Here's a link -- it's just a slideshow of pics of Jon, but at least you can hear what I mean. I like the way Jon and Leann's voices blend, and I really like the line, "It would be so easy/To live your life with one foot out the door." Also, if you know the songs on Have a Nice Day, you'll recognize a little riff from "Welcome To Wherever You Are" running through this song.