Ferdi : Every Bon Jovi-record thus far seems to have been written as a direct response to the record before it, and at the same time reflecting the era in which his was written. As an example, the classic 'Slippery When Wet' (1986) was a direct response to the mediocre '7800 Fahrenheit' (1985) and at the same time reflected the blooming partyrock-scene of the time. 'Keep The Faith' (1992) on the other hand was Jovi's coming-of-age-record, in which they shook of their wild hairs from the 'New Jersey'-era.
Now the band comes with their ninth album which has a style that's perfectly logical within Bon Jovi's evolution. 'Have A Nice Day' is a heavy and introspective album. The elections in 2004 - Jon actively campaigned for John Kerry - and the wake of the events caused by decisions of president Bush have cast a dark mood on an album of a band whose native country still hasn't recovered from the attacks in New York and Washington. Musically the band chooses for a heavy approach: heavy guitars and the talk-box are okay again with Bon Jovi, making the band come full circle again with their typical brand of stadium-rock and closing down the period marked by the acoustic record 'This Left Feels Right' (2003, 2004 on DVD).
'Have A Nice Day' is a statement of twelve songs. A statement that is much more than a commercially viable product. Bon Jovi proves that strong songwriting is still the main reason for any artist to exist, a theme that's fully represented in the song 'Last Man Standing'. The feeling of coming full circle is represented in the song 'Who Says You Cant Go Home' with it's Nashville-inspiration. Dark moments are present too, such as the song 'Novocaine', in which Jon describes the process keyboardplayer David Bryan went through when he permanently took off his wedding-ring. 'I Want To Be Loved' particularly stands out too, because of the way Jon confronts himself with his inner demons.
All in all, 'Have A Nice Day' is a great album in which the band combines solid songwriting with lyrics reflecting the time that we live in. Musically heavier than 'Crush' and more serious than 'Bounce' makes this new cd a release that is on par with 'Keep The Faith' and 'These Days'. A must-have for fans of stadionrock with substance.