Sound — 8
This is probably one of Bon Jovi's lesser known works and, in truth, it's in some ways easy to see why this wasn't the album that broke Bon Jovi into the big time. The sound is often simmillar to the 1986 follow up Slippery When Wet, though shows a much more raw and unrefined talent. Pulsing keyboards, soaring solos and the usual strong vocals can all be heard here, as you would expect on any Bon Jovi release. Obviously, this collection does sound very '80s, a far cry from the arena rock of 1992's Keep The Faith.
Lyrics — 6
The question of whether Jon Bon Jovi can sing or not need not be raised. It is however clear that he and richie sambora had not quite reached their writing potential, though glimmers of excellence do shine through. The first half of the album contains nothing special, silent night's lyrics and music are sappy and aren't a patch on the superb "Always" (from the crossroad release). The last 5 tracks are excellent. "To The Fire" and "Always Run To You" are particullar highlights, the music fitting perfectly with the expectly written lyrics.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this record is a mixed bag. The first 5 tracks are mostly middle of the road songs, not at all living up to the high standard set by the first self titled album in 1984. Track 6 (Tokyo Road) is a turning point, from then on the album is amazing, almost reaching the excellence of slippery when wet. As usual Richie Sambora is the ultimate guitar hero, his playing is near flawless, perfectly matching his performance to what the music requires, it is hard to understand why he remains so overlooked. This record had a certain charm, and is much better than the bands last offering "Bounce," it's worth buying if you loved slippery and the earlier records, but it's maybe best to avoid if the perfer the more pop-like sound of crush.