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Have A Nice Day - Bon Jovi

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      27.09.2010 00:05
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      Who says you can't go home? Not me, this album takes Bon Jovi back to the glory days!

      Have A Nice Day was the ninth studio album to come from Bon Jovi and was the album that brought me back into the fold after several years during which I lost some of my interest in the band. Starting with the title track, the album is a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end and is not just one of my all-time favourites but also one of the strongest Bon Jovi albums ever to be released!

      There is not one single track featured here that I do not like from the absolutely awesome One Last Cigarette, which ranks high in my top ten list of favourite Bon Jovi songs ever, to the equally catchy Novacaine and other really big numbers such as Dirty Little Secret, Unbreakable and Story Of My Life ~ all of which I just cannot help but find myself singing along to!

      My all-time favourite track here, other than One Last Cigarette, has to be Who Says You Can't Go Home which was just perfect when I saw the band perform it live and had the crowd going absolutely wild!!! It is songs like this that have helped give the band the longevity and long success that they so rightly deserve and is another of my favourite Jovi songs of all time. For me, this album totally escapulates everything that is perfect about Bon Jovi and always makes me feel better whenever I am feeling down! It is just one of those albums that has a real feel-good feel about it and simply cannot be bettered!

      Few bands have so many good albums one after another but Bon Jovi is just one of those groups. And it goes to show something that the Jovi can still keep me rocking even after all these years!

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      18.04.2010 20:04
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      Another great Bon Jovi album.

      Have A Nice Day is the 2005 studio album from American rock band Bon Jovi. It is no secret I am a big fan of this band who first came to most people's attention back in the 80's with the release of hit single 'Livin' On A Prayer'.

      Since then, the band have enjoyed 25 years of success, with this year seeing them take up a residency at London's O2 Arena as part of a two year world tour, which no doubt will see them once again achieving the highest grossing tour in the world.
      Whether you like Bon Jovi or not, you cannot deny they are a hard working band who have seen off many of their 80's rock band counterparts.

      When Have A Nice Day, produced by John Shanks with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, was released in 2005, the band came up with another solid blend of infectious rock, with one or two mellower tracks.
      Bon Jovi also know how to write a good love song too, but there is no 'Bed Of Roses' or 'Always' here. Instead the band went for a more aggressive approach when writing the songs for this album.

      The Tracks :-

      Have A Nice Day
      I Want To Be Loved
      Welcome To Wherever You Are
      Who Says You Can't Go Home
      Last Man Standing
      Bells Of Freedom
      Wildflower
      Last Cigarette
      I Am
      Complicated
      Novocaine
      Story Of My Life
      Dirty Little Secret
      Unbreakable

      The album is about personal freedom, standing up for yourself, believing in yourself and having your own voice. And the message couldn't be any clearer than on the title track 'Have A Nice Day', which kicks off the album with the opening lines : -
      "Why, you wanna tell me how to live my life?
      Who, are you to tell me if it's black or white?"

      The track is thought of by many as 'It's My Life' part 2, which is probably an apt description. It was said to be a sarcastic two fingers to US President George Bush. It is no secret that Jon Bon Jovi was backing John Kerry during the 2004 election campaign and came up with 'Have a Nice Day' because the whole country was partisan at that point and he saw a great divide in the country, which is apparent in the lyrics :-
      "Take a look around you; nothing's what it seems
      We're living in the broken home of hopes and dreams"

      It is a strong, rousing track and one of my favourites on the album, with the line: - "When the world gets in my face, I say, Have A Nice Day!" having a very strong effect in the sarcastic way it is sung. There is a lot of irony on this album, from the cover art to the lyrical content. Reading through the lyrics brings a wry smile on more than one occasion.

      'Last Man Standing' is another favourite of mine. Another rousing rock track which gives the band's take on what they see as a decline in the music industry due to many artists lip-synching and too much focus on 'dancers and diamonds'. It tells of how real performances could become a dying breed, with the lyrics promising if you see the 'real thing', it just might change the way you think. The lyrics here are worthy of that wry smile I just mentioned.

      The track is also a perfect showcase for the underrated talents of guitarist Richie Sambora, the man behind those brilliant riffs, but who has never been given the credit he deserves by the music press. If you have ever seen Bon Jovi live you will know exactly what I mean.
      Indeed all the band are good at what they do and after 25 years, you know exactly what to expect and they never disappoint. What you have is a band who have complete control of their work and are totally confident in what they do. Jon is note perfect both when recording and live, with the blues-style backing vocals from Richie complimenting him perfectly. They can both pack a lot of emotion into their vocals, enabling you to really feel the song.

      The tempo slows for the brilliant 'Welcome To Wherever You Are' which speaks to everyone's insecurities whenever you may feel you are "drowning in the shadow of a doubt". It is a song of hope and self-belief with a lovely melody flowing through it, which always picks me up if I am feeling low. It is the albums 'quiet moment' as well as being a song to reflect upon and ponder what you want from life.

      'Who Says You Can't Go Home' stays in your head for some time after you have heard it as it is indeed another infectious track which was also a big crowd pleaser on the 'Have A Nice Day' tour, with the call and answer "It's alright" ending.
      'Novocaine' sees drummer Tico Torres' disjointed beats providing the strong backbone to the verses which are followed by a harmonised memorable chorus.

      'Last Cigarette' and 'Story Of My Life' maintain the aggression on the album whilst still being trademark Bon Jovi with their catchy hooks. The former comparing love to one last cigarette :- "When it's gone, it's gone" and even manages a reference to The Beach Boys with the last line: -"You always lose the girl in a Brian Wilson world". Whilst on the latter, the self-belief theme kicks home once more as Jon sings that his life isn't black and white but it's anything but gray.

      'Complicated' is a hard song of frustration, whilst the mellower sounding 'I Want To Be Loved' is a much better song than the title suggests, telling of not wanting the world to pass you by, or live a lie, but instead find who you are.
      'I Am' is another of my favourites, with its poignant lyrics which spells out that how you spend your minutes are what matters, as all tomorrows come from yesterdays. It is an emotive song, full of feeling and touched a chord with me the first time I heard it.
      The message is clear throughout the album from the first song to the last: - Believe in yourself.

      There are no bad tracks on the album. My least favourite track is 'Bells Of Freedom', but having said that, I wouldn't say it is weaker than the rest.
      Overall, you won't find any boy meets girl, or Tommy and Gina songs here. Have A Nice Day is contemporary in its songwriting values and overall another solid Bon Jovi album as they continue to write great songs for ordinary people.

      Stand your ground, believe in yourself and when the world gets in your face, well you know what to say!

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        07.01.2009 01:23
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        brilliant album, bon jovi back at their best

        Have a nice day is a great album, probably my favorite bon jovi album, its a bit different from their older stuff but still ranks up there with the best rock music out. Obviously they aren't going to achieve the same success as back in the 80's now but this album proves that Jon Bon Jovi has still got a great voice and can still realise the great records.

        I bought this album just before i went to see them on tour promoting this album and it was well worth it, they were sensational!!

        Tracks i would like to draw your attention to would be - Bells of Freedom, last man standing and one last cigarette.

        This is one album were i actaully enjoyed it, start to finish every song was awesome

        You can get this album for between £9.99 and £11.99

        Tracklisting

        1.Have A Nice Day
        2.I Want To Be Loved
        3.Welcome To Wherever You Are
        4.Who Says You Can't Go Home
        5.Last Man Standing
        6.Bells Of Freedom
        7.Wildflower
        8.Last Cigarette
        9.I Am
        10.Complicated
        11.Novocaine
        12.Story Of My Life
        13.Dirty Little Secret
        14.Unbreakable

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          27.03.2007 11:07
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          A great album and an amazing gig!

          It was the most memorable day of my life. The sun was shining, the fans were singing and England were playing there first round game against Paraguay and won! Milton Keynes bowl was the setting for the greatest live performances I have even seen. The day started with the long drive to the bowl, the "Have a Nice Day" album played 3 or 4 times on the way there from the North East of England. On arrival the car was dumped in the carpark, the shorts were on and the drink was flowing. We watched the England Game on a portable TV in the carpark, there must have been 50 of us there, chanting Bon Jovi songs while England pounded their way through the game.

          As the gates opened the crowds dissappeared from the carpark in to the massive international bowl at Milton Keynes. "Where should we sit?" said the missus. Where we sat wouldn't really matter as the view was unblocked from everywhere. 34 degrees of sun was blaring down on us as we sat through the first local supporting band, followed by the rock boys from the US Nickleback.

          As the helicopters arrived with the Band on board, the crowd started to gather their voice, singing old favourites "Livin on a prayer" and "It's my life". There was speculation amongst the crowd, what will they play, are they going to stick to tradition and play old as well as new? Of course they were! As the band appeared the crowd went wild. Shouts, screams, singing, chanting and even the odd tear dropped to the grass as the boys came on and opened the show.

          For an outdoor venue, the bowl really does have a fantastic sound, as good as any indoor performance I've heard. The facilities were ok too, toilets, food drink, all available and in good supply for the 70,000 strong crowd that rocked the day away.

          it was obvious there were plenty of patriotic footy fans in the crowd, even Jon came on after a break donning an England shirt and with the cameras focussing closely on him, her gave the girls a wink as they screamed and the blokes cheered!

          Towards the end of the performance, which went on until just before 11pm, the sun started to leave the sky and the fans started to relax. Some of the older songs came out and it was great to see everyone singing along.

          Audience participation was big on the day, and it brought a feeling of electricity between every person in that stadium when they all started to sing Livin on a prayer without the help of the band, other then being started off of course.

          Anyway, to the point, the day was amazing, the songs, the performance, the sound, venue and weather made it the best concert I have ever seen and probably ever will.

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            26.12.2005 19:59
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            Cynical? Bon Jovi? Surely not.

            Bon Jovi – Have A Nice Day

            Released 19/09/2005 on Mercury.
            210355-6
            £9.77 at Morrisons


            Do you watch WWE on the telly? Yes? Good. I’ll be asking questions later.

            Over the years Bon Jovi has become a force to be reckoned with. An institution in rock. They cannot play the small halls any more. Wherever they appear, it’s in the mega bowls and super arenas. Their audience ranges from school kids to grannies and all ages in between. Even hard case rockers, who will deny the fact, have a Bon Jovi record somewhere in their collection. Bon Jovi is as corporate as rock can get. The brand is literary a licence to print money.

            And why do you think this is? I’ll tell you. Bon Jovi, love them or hate them, have the knack of releasing albums that although sounding the same always have that extra something that keeps them fresh, up-to-date. And better still, have remained a chart-bothering act for nigh on twenty years. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they put out shed loads of great songs does it? No: of coarse not.

            What Bon Jovi is, is the epitome of the American Dream. A loud of young punks who have walked what they talked. Writing songs that urge that the impossible is possible and then done it for real. And look at them now. Megastars. It doesn’t matter how much stick BJ take, they just roll on regardless. Relentless.

            So what about Have A Nice Day? Well, the various members of BJ are all pretty good at what they do and are not averse to knocking out a hit or two. So when you stick them in a room with the likes of Desmond Child and John Shanks you know that quality is going to result. And so it does, consistently. The album really doesn’t have a bad track on it.

            The opening title track is a straight lift of It’s My Life. It may appear a bit of a rip off at first, but really it provides a familiar point from which to draw you into the rest of the album. Which is just as well for your mum, because it’s a tough little set. The overall sound of the album is heavier than past offerings I’ve heard. Grittier. Though they manage to avoid any slide into the down tuned grunge of younger bands. Samboras’ playing is understated, the solos simple and a lot of the songs seem to have a subtle underlayer of acoustic guitar to them. A nice touch as it gives a bit more depth to what would otherwise be just straight rockers.

            As part of the BJ formula, as a rule the third track on any album is always a slowy, and so it is here. But: it’s not the usual slush of, say, “This Ain’t A Love Song” (that happens on track 6 “Bells Of Freedom”. Oh well). No, here we get “Welcome To Wherever You Are” which is quite nifty in it’s way. Certainly not a lighter-waving weepy.

            Reading through the lyrics, I cannot help but get a sense of irony. Something that I thought was a domain strictly inhabited by us Brits. And yet again, God gets a middle finger hoisted in his honour, as does any one who BJ perceive as detractors to the cause. Though Tommy and Gina have been left alone this time. It’s all the sort of stuff that only those with total control, commitment and confidence in what they do can produce.

            The rest have all the trademarks of Bon Jovi, but the song writing has managed to keep them current. There is a lot going on around the world of rock and Bon Jovi have managed to capture an essence of a lot of it. Don’t get me wrong, they haven’t tried to be Nu-metal or ‘post’ this or that. It’s definitely BJ, but they have only done what great bands always do. Change. In BJ’s case, with some subtlety. Nice.

            I think Have A Nice Day is a fine example of Americana at it’s heaviest.

            Standout tracks? “Story Of My Life”, “Novocaine”, “Last Cigarette”, “Have A Nice Day”, and “Dirty Little Secret” hit the mark straight away. The rest clicked in soon after.

            What a lot of people seem to miss is that beneath the veneer of hope is a subtle undercurrent of cynicism. A view that nothing is what it seems, nor as easy. Certainly not as easy as they make it seem. But it still remains overtly lovable. The sort of rock your mum would listen to. The whole, goofily grinning boy next door attitude bubbles through remorselessly. I think they achieve this to some degree by never resorting to hurling four letter expletives at every opportunity. Bon Jovi show it’s quite easy to get the digs in without smothering everything in abuse. Shocking lyrics are not necessary. And here the title sums everything up. An insult delivered with a smile without actually being an insult. A lesson here for their younger compatriots I think.

            And where does the WWE come into all this? What is the connection between BJ and WWE? Well, just as you will never find professional wresters drawing blood (it’s fake kids, believe me), you will never hear Bon Jovi write tunes about Coney Island White Fish Boys or Mr Brownstone. The Bon Jovi World remains sanitized, although a little sweaty.

            And no songs about cowboys. Redemption.

            This is a clever album. People have put a lot of thought into it and it works. There are a lot of subtle references in here. You’ll spend hours trying to think of where you first heard a particular bit for months. I think this illustrates quality workmanship.

            I do however, have one complaint. Have A Nice Day has been released in at least four versions that I know of. There is the standard version with 12 tracks. Then there is the version I’ve reviewed here which has two bonus tracks – Dirty Little Secret and Unbreakable. There was a limited edition double disc set I saw which had a bonus disc of vids ‘n’ stuff (£15 for that one). The forth version has a different cut of Welcome To Wherever You Are. This is an America only issue and has JBJ dueting with country star Jennifer Nettles. And that’s just the stuff I know of. And I’m not a BJ completist either. God knows how many single, remix and video versions will be released.

            So what’s that lot all about then? You don’t think we’re getting screwed do you? No, never. We all enjoy buying four of the same album to get the full works, don’t we? Of coarse we do. What a load of bollocks. No wonder people prefer to download stuff illegally when record companies pull this kind of stunt. So if you are a Bon Jovi completist, you had better get yer wallet out.

            However, I digress.

            Bon Jovi is aging very gracefully, thank you very much. Have A Nice Day is still very much a Rock ‘n’ Roll record.

            Recommended (Just don’t hammer the credit card too hard eh. Your mum will not appreciate it).

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