Bon Jovi – This House Is Not For Sale {Deluxe Edition} (2016) [Qobuz 24-96]

Bon Jovi – This House Is Not For Sale {Deluxe Edition} (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:10:35 minutes | 1,52 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: Qobuz | Front cover | © Universal Music

“I ain’t livin’ with the ghost/No future living in the past,” sings Jon Bon Jovi on “Living with the Ghost,” the second song on This House Is Not for Sale, the first new Bon Jovi album without guitarist Richie Sambora. From those words, it’s clear that Jon Bon Jovi isn’t shedding many tears for his departed collaborator, and This House Is Not for Sale proves this to be true. While there are certainly moments of sweetness here — he pens love songs to his woman (“Labor of Love”) and guitar (“Scars on This Guitar”) — they’re somewhat overwhelmed by the aggressive arena rock that dominates the album. Musically, this is a throwback — not to the ’80s but to 2005’s Have a Nice Day, which is the first album Bon Jovi recorded with producer John Shanks. Often, This House Is Not for Sale — which is the sixth album Shanks has recorded with Bon Jovi — recalls the exuberant singalongs from Have a Nice Day (“God Bless This Mess” is a kissing cousin to “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”), but where that 2005 album felt joyful, this 2016 album is driven in part by spite. Thirty years into his career and Jon Bon Jovi still acts like the underdog (“Every day I wake up with my back against the wall/Anytime you get up, someone wants to see you fall”), and he still sings like he has scores to settle. Presumably, some of these outstanding debts may be with Sambora, who did not leave on good terms, but Jon Bon Jovi is determined that “This isn’t how the story ends, my friends, it’s just a fork along the road,” which goes a long way toward explaining how muscular This House Is Not for Sale is. Bon Jovi and Shanks may not have done much to freshen up the band’s sound — they don’t take any mid-2010s musical trends into consideration — but that simmering defiance does mean this is the band’s liveliest album in years. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


01. This House Is Not For Sale
02. Living With The Ghost
03. Knockout
04. Labor Of Love
05. Born Again Tomorrow
06. Roller Coaster
07. New Year’s Day
08. The Devil’s In The Temple
09. Scars On This Guitar
10. God Bless This Mess
11. Reunion
12. Come On Up To Our House
13. Real Love
14. All Hail The King
15. We Don’t Run
16. I Will Drive You Home
17. Goodnight New York

Jon Bon Jovi – lead vocals
David Bryan – keyboards, piano, pedal steel guitar, backing vocals
Tico Torres – drums, percussion
Hugh McDonald – bass, backing vocals
Phil X – lead guitar, backing vocals

Additional personnel
John Shanks – lead guitar, backing vocals (track 2, 4, 6–11, 15–18)