Sound — 10
The songs and band themselves sound a lot more energetic than they do on "Slippery When Wet" or "New Jersey." Songs like "Runaway," "Shot Through the Heart," "Burning for Love," and "Get Ready" seem a lot faster, at times heavier, and definitely more energetic than the later albums. Jon Bon Jovi hits some high notes he rarely did even in the later '80s here, such as the end of "Runaway." David Bryan also seems to be more prominent than he was later on, with most songs being more keyboard or synthesizer focused. Ritchie Sambora gets some good solos too, as usual, and Tico Torres still keeps a strong presence. This album also feels more consistent in sound than the other efforts, as there's a lot less ballads like on "SWW" or weird acoustic songs like on "New Jersey." It's much more straight forward hard rock.
Lyrics — 7
Bon Jovi may have been known for catchy songs and choruses, but the lyrics themselves are sort of generic. Since this was their first album, it's slightly more generic than usual. Despite this, the lyrics are still memorable, and fit the instruments really well. Jon Bon Jovi is a great singer, which may have helped these lyrics stick out more. The lyrics get better in other albums, but this is certainly a good starting point. It also seems more love focused than the other albums, even for glam metal.
Overall Impression — 9
This album will probably always be overshadowed by "Slippery When Wet," "New Jersey," and maybe even "Crush," but it's worth checking out if you liked the other albums. If you liked those albums, definitely check this one out, as all of the tracks (except maybe "Love Lies," but that's certainly better than the rest of Bon Jovi's weaker songs) are definitely worth a listen. There isn't much to dislike about it, as it's a pretty solid debut. At the very least check out "Runaway," and if you like that, buy the rest. It's worth the money.