Sound — 9
Thsi record is a far cry from Richie Sambora's bluesy '91 debut "Stranger..." Acoustic guitars feature heavily and to great affect, the song "Harlem Rain" is just beautiful as is "In It For Love," another acoustically based song. The production is good also, but with Don Was In Charge, what else do you expect? Sambora's voice shines thoughout on this CD, it is softer than Bon Jovi's but it really fits the song styles well.
Lyrics — 9
One thing that I have noticed about Richie Sambora's lyrics (and Bon Jovi's) is that he tends to write about things he knows and has experinced. "Made In America" is a wonderful example of this, it's about growing up in Jersey and various events (inc John Lennon's shooting) have affected his life. The title track shows a return to what he does best, story telling songs that have a "Life kinda sucks but I wanna live it anyway" sort of attitude.
Overall Impression — 9
To me this is pretty much uncomparable to his earier album because the styling is just so different. The only thing to say is that it is clear he has matured alot lyrically since "Stranger In This Town." As usual his guitar playing is amazing, and in this solo project he gets the chance to shine that is often denied in a group format. It might not quite be Bon Jovi, but it is damm close.