Of the three biggest bands of the 80’s (Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Poison), only bon Jovi, somehow, someway, was able to maintain a sizable audience into the grunge-n-gloom 90’s with subtle shifts in style resulting in slick, adult oriented albums like Keep the Faith and These Days. They were both very respectable efforts but they leaned too heavily on Adult-contempory ballads and half-hearted rock, they lacked that ‘fire’ that Slippery when Wet and New Jersey kindled. However, after a solo outing, Jon Bon Jovi reunites with Richie Sambora, David Bryan, and co. for the first ‘Bon Jovi’ effort in 5 years. And it’s very well worth the wait. The best comes first; It’s My Life is bound to be the catchiest rock song you’ll hear all year. This song is absolutley classic Bon Jovi with an ever-so-subtle modern rock inflection. If the rest of the album borders into Matchbox 20/3rd Eye Blind territory sometimes (You’ll almost find yourself singing ‘Do do do, do do do do’ to the intro of Say it Isn’t So), so be it, but the band keeps their feet firmly planted in classic rock territory most of the time showcasing whale-sized hooks and the big, catchy singalong chorus they’ve always been second-to-none in crafting. There’s at least 5 or 6 hit cuts off this album should radio decide to pick them up in It’s My Life, the stellar Just Older, One Wild Night, and the ballads Thank You, Save the World, and Next 100 Years. Every other cut here is well-executed, with enough appeal at the classic rock and modern rock end of the totem to reach just about every listener out there. Bon Jovi hasn’t gotten old, just older (as the song puts it so eloquently). Crush alludes to glories of past (It’s My Life) and looks to the future with a bright eye. It also tips it’s hat to pure, decadent rock (One Wild Night). This album is on par with Bon Jovi’s best, and while it’s not quite as good as Def Leppard or Poison’s recent efforts (Euphoria and Crack a Smile) it’s bound to be more successful, because after all, to a degree, it’s still perfectly OK to say you’re a Bon Jovi fan. Albums like these show why.