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Who Let Bon Jovi Ruin My Big & Rich?,
This review is from: Hillbilly Jedi (Audio CD)
I'm a little late to the Big & Rich party, having only discovered them last year. I hadn't been so excited about a sound since Ben Folds released his "Rockin' the Suburbs" back in 2001. But I noticed that, as I went through all their previous albums, that things were kind of hit and miss. B&R, when they are good, are AWESOME. I don't really care for their serious songs... it's like going out with a beautiful girl and then finding out she just wants to spend the whole evening talking about global warming - if I want to hear about someone's political or religious beliefs, I'm probably not going to be looking for it in a country rock album.
So my past experience with B&R is that I would take about half the CD and put it on my MP3 player... the fun, rocking tunes. When I heard the first single for this album on the radio "That's Why I Pray," I didn't like it (egad, I know John is the son of a preacher, but that is a heavy-handed tune), I still had hopes there would be some winning tracks.
Well, I played the CD a few times before making up my mind: This is dreadful. I recognized Bon Jovi on the opening track... I really don't see how you could miss it. Bon Jovi is in their 4th decade of releasing the same song over and over, so here it is, opening up B&R's newest album, "Wanted: Dead or Alive Part 427."
And then I noticed something terrible: Even the rocking songs were letting me down. Sure, I skipped over the slow, whiny tracks... I expected that. But by third playthrough, I literally skipped every song to the end. That's bad.
As I looked through the credits, I saw that the rock tunes had been "Bon Jovi'd." No wonder they had no character to them. It was just B&R doing a pale imitation of a pale rock act. Even songs that had some potential like "Tell the Truth" and "Cheat on You" were ruined because they were just so dang depressing. Considering the title of the album, I really wasn't expecting any depressing tracks.
This album was a total bust. It deftly rides the fine line of alienating B&R fans while doing nothing to bring about new ones. It's quite a feat, just not one any recording artist should be going for.
All in all, I didn't bother putting *any* of these songs on my MP3 player. The only thing positive I can say is that at least this wasn't the first B&R album I'd ever heard, or I would have missed out on the others.