Bon Jovi - Keep The Faith
Mercury Records
Blues Based Hard Rock
12 songs (65'10)
Release year: 1992
Bon Jovi, Mercury Records
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Keep The Faith was a major step in the career of Bon Jovi. They reinvented themselves sonically and stylistically for their first album of the nineties. Gone are the days of fervent partying anthems and glitzy hairspray fueled peons of excess. A new maturity is immediately evident just by leafing through the booklet. Desolate imagery and a feeling of subdued hope amongst isolation and despair are themes that run rampant throughout this album. Also, as if to mirror the aging of the band members themselves it seems as if the concept of growing older makes an appearance. If you came here looking for another Runaway or You Give Love A Bad Name you’ll be left wanting.

For everyone that considers Bon Jovi a pussy band take one listen to their sprawling epic Dry County. This is ten minutes of emotive musical excellence. The story of a simple man who left his home to make his stake in the oil business and loses everything he has is Bon Jovi’s magnum opus. Arranged just right so the listener can see the barren wasteland of the protagonist’s life, you become sucked in and held rapt with attention. The climax of the song however begins around the five minute mark. A dramatic buildup that contrasts starkly with the previous established slow pace segues into a ripping guitar solo that would make Dave Murray proud. I have never doubted Richie Sambora’s guitar skills but it is here where he truly shows his abilities. Another album highlight is the sensual, pulsing In These Arms. Built primarily around Alec John Such’s throbbing bassline that provides the steady backbeat, imagine a more aggressive version of Where The Streets Have No Name. The tender Bed Of Roses was the hit of the album when it was released. I’m actually surprised that this six and a half minute ballad was as popular as it was. It isn’t a typical happy ballad, nor is it the usual “woe is me without her in my life” either. Some great lyrics are penned by Jon. Lines like “’Cause a bottle of vodka is still lodged in my head / And some blonde gave me nightmares I still think she’s in my bed / As I dream about movies they won’t make of me when I’m dead” shine a serious light on a subject that most metalheads would consider trite. A much better affair than previous balladry such as I’d Die For You. If I Was Your Mother is a hefty slab of chunky, blues based rock n’ roll. Loud shouted choruses and slithery verses team up to make a Bon Jovi song I can headbang to.

The nineties were tumultuous times for the big names of the previous decade. Grunge and alternative music killed many bands, either by rendering their music obsolete or forcing them to drastically alter their style and pretend they were from Seattle (Motley Crue anyone?) Bon Jovi however is one of the only bands that I can say truly evolved into their current sound and Keep The Faith is what started it all. Instead of going grunge on us, they went back to the blues. Rather than busting out only a few chords a song and neglecting the almighty solo, Richie impresses more than ever. Mature rock n roll at its finest.

Killing Songs :
In These Arms, I Want You, Dry County, If I Was Your Mother, I Believe
Ben quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Bon Jovi that we have reviewed:
Bon Jovi - Lost Highway reviewed by Mike and quoted 64 / 100
Bon Jovi - New Jersey reviewed by Ben and quoted 84 / 100
Bon Jovi - Have A Nice Day reviewed by Chris and quoted 92 / 100
Bon Jovi - Bounce reviewed by Shane and quoted 68 / 100
Bon Jovi - Crush reviewed by Chris and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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