Mercury – 2005 – 57 minutes
Following their 'left turn' in 2003 on 'This Left Feels Right', which reworked some of their best-known songs, Bon Jovi have gone back to their rock roots for 'Have a Nice Day', an album that offers nothing new style-wise, but has plenty of energy.
Opener 'Have a Nice Day' is no 'Livin' on a Prayer', but does have that same positive message that Bon Jovi deliver so well. Followed by the equally upbeat 'Welcome to Wherever You Are', you realise quite quickly that you're on familiar terrain.
You could say that the band have played it too safe, but when playing it safe sounds as convincing as this, you can hardly complain. There's no standout rock anthem like 'Keep the Faith', or 'It's My Life' here, but the peppy 'Who Says You Can't Go Home' and the unashamedly self-referencing 'Last Man Standing' are sure to keep you on your feet.
'Have a Nice Day' won't go down in history by any means. There are a few mediocre tracks here - 'Unbreakable' and 'Wildflower' among them. There's a slight cheesiness too that's irksome: just see if you can listen to "Remember that you're perfect/God makes no mistakes" ('Welcome to Wherever You Are') without cringing.
With a 20-plus year career under their belts, Bon Jovi have proved they've got staying power. 'Have a Nice Day' should ensure that they stay in the game a while longer.
Tracklisting: Have a Nice Day – I Want to Be Loved – Welcome to Wherever You Are – Who Says You Can't Go Home – Last Man Standing – Bells of Freedom – Wildflower – Last Cigarette – I Am – Complicated – Novacaine – Story of My Life – Dirty Little Secret (bonus track) – Unbreakable (bonus track)