ROCK IS DEAD
Review: Bon Jovi "2020"
Updated: Oct 3, 2020
Today Bon Jovi releases their 15th studio album titled 2020 via Island Records and Universal Music Canada. Almost the entire album was written solely by frontman Jon Bon Jovi and features ten tracks with a heavy acoustic presence. The album is a step back from your typical rock record and puts a strong emphasis on storytelling lyrics with an impactful message.
Originally slated for a May release, 2020 got pushed to October when Jon wanted to add "Do What You Can," and "American Reckoning" to the album. With the ongoing pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, the band felt it necessary to include two tracks addressing both issues. While both songs are a valid effort in sympathizing with those effected by the current state of affairs, the album truly strikes a nerve later on with "Lower The Flag." The heart-wrenching acoustic track aims to address America's ongoing issues with gun violence and reoccurring mass shootings seen across the country. The song is a hauntingly beautiful apology to the victim's and their families, and is quite melodic despite having very little instrumentation to accompany it. While some political protest songs often times feel forced, it's pretty rare that such a simplistic track like "Lower The Flag," can induce such an emotional response.
Despite the album's large acoustic presence, fans are still treated to classic Bon Jovi arena rock songs like "Limitless," " Beautiful Drug," and "Brothers In Arms." Each of these songs carry their own significant message with lyrical stand outs like:
"The poets verse can not describe, this kind of wonder that mystifies, love is the drink to healing thirst, hear my confession, I don't even need a church" - Beautiful Drug
While most legacy rock bands only release albums to promote a new tour, in a world without touring the music must speak for itself. Jon Bon Jovi has penned a very sentimental album that steps away from the band's typically loud and exuberant sound and has spewed his emotions into his music like never before. While the album isn't a trailblazer in rock n' roll history, it's an honest approach at digesting a difficult year in American history.
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