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Keep the Faith

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(54 Reviews)

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  • You’d be much better off if this was the disc you chose. (6 million stars, but I seem not to have been able to find that voting option).Let’s get right to the heart of the matter, shall we? On “Keep the Faith,” one of the best albums ever recorded (if not the best), “Dry County” is one of the best songs ever (if not THE best). It is an auditory testament to a) how good this band can be, b) the concept of perfection, and c) the purpose of music on Earth. A doctoral thesis could be written on the purpose and power of the near 10 minute epic in the haunting key of d minor that sits at the number 7 track position on this recording, and I am hard pressed to not start writing one here. But I need to get through the whole album in 1000 words…You’ve got Stairway, Freebird, Layla, Bohemian Rhapsody, and a simple answer as to why LESS than 2 million people of the entire American population are lucky enough to possess the knowledge that “Dry County” is pretty much the peak of musical epics: it was written by a) Bon Jovi, b) an “80’s band”, c) an “80’s band” in the NINETIES, and d) never released as a domestic single, thus not generating the grape-vine mystique that safe, ridicule-immune “70’s bands” wound up scooping up with all of their “legendary” anthems. For the last time: Bon Jovi, for all of their popularity, will always be under-respected, and there’s nothing cheesy about any of this.If you read on, you may learn something before slamming this review for being narcissistic and preachy. “Keep the Faith” was an album released on November 3, 1992. Only Jovi and Aerosmith (with the tail end of the GNR train) were surviving into the era that was the beginning of the still-obvious crash of quality “commercial” music as we know it. The most important thing for any Jovi supporter to know is that this album, albeit without any real marketing effects of the “Dry County” epic, was a huge reason for the band to be able to still be calling their careers a success into their THIRD decade now. Smash hit single “Bed of Roses” pushed album sales hard (and appropriately, as this song itself is a 6 minute artistic and commercial triumph), as well as did lesser, more “supportive sellers” but equally great pieces of music, “In These Arms,” “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” and the title track. To my immense shock, only 2 million copies have been moved. What’s more, many regard Bon Jovi’s career as largely dormant in the 90’s! That, coupled with people saying this is ok but no “classic”, has me yet again scratching my head at the general public. Who and what defines “classic?” anyway?But Jon, Richie, David, Tico, and Alec did make some noise with this masterpiece, keeping their reunited heads above the debris-filled undertoe called the 90’s. Being big as ever outside of America, their touring (allowing the public to see a more rocking, jamming and driving side to them) fueled their stance at not being an 80’s throwaway. And for all the people who hate Bon Jovi, they couldn’t stop this band from achieving something VERY lucky and VERY deserved: for the next few years, Bon Jovi stuck to their guns and cohabitated with all the other bands that were essentially Bon Jovi’s antithesis. Somehow, they survived the public execution of the rest of the “80’s bands”, and from those battle scars, they now have carte blanche to make music to the end, big sellers or not. So that, boys and girls, is how the catchy but thin “It’s My Life” single and “Crush” album were able to still have a shot with record company promotion and make some people aware for the first time of a Jersey band known as Bon Jovi…20 years after the fact. Well, better late than never to have a 3rd comeback.The specifics:There is no filler on this album. NONE. There is creativity and emotion of the highest level. If you are one of those people who finds Bon Jovi to be just a bit too light for you, this is your album (Check out the metallic thomping on “If I Was Your Mother” and “Fear”). If you are a sucker for the ballads, this is your album (Aside from “Bed of Roses,” “I Want You” is perhaps their best ballad ever, a template for the derived future hit “Always”). If you respect Richie but aren’t big on Bon Jovi, this is your album (“Dry County” and “Keep the Faith” have the most ungodly solos you’ll ever hear). If you prefer their bluesier moments, this is your album (“Little Bit O Soul”).THE DIVERSITY – I NEVER get bored of this album, over a decade after when it came out (I bought it on the release date). It’s respectable for musicians to do different things – it’s nothing short of divine if it all comes together and actually works.I know it sounds shallow to judge something the “greatest ever,” and I do know there’s a huge difference between one’s FAVORITE and what one considers to be the BEST…. but I don’t use those terms loosely. I can’t believe how few people give this album the royal treatment it so earnestly deserves. And especially the critics! Never trust them anyway, but it’s heartbreaking to read how ignorant some people are atleast in one area, that being the band that is Bon Jovi. Not so long ago, this album was huge. Now, between “Livin on a Prayer,” “Always,” and “It’s My Life,” all of the sudden it’s one of their LESSER KNOWN(????). I’m just righting a subjective wrong – and with words, not bombs. Just goes to show you what’s up with this crazy messed up world we live in, from the small scale to the grand. Keep the Faith.Email me if you feel the same way.

    Posted on February 11, 2010