Tag Archives: Jon Bon Jovi

TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (Jan. 8)

He's a Mayniac at your door.

He’s a Mayniac at your door.

New year, new releases. It’s always a slow start in January, but here are the new releases out in stores on Tuesday:

  • U.K. import Conor Maynard releases his debut album, Contrast, on Capitol Records. Thus far, he’s released two singles in the States, “Vegas Girl”, which hit last year, and “Turn Around”, featuring Ne-Yo, which is currently on the radio. The album has already been a big hit in his native United Kingdom, going to #1 back in August.
  • Rapping rockers Hollywood Undead put out their third studio album, Notes From The Underground. Lead single “We Are” has been a minor hit on rock radio.
  • Popular Christian contemporary artist Chris Tomlin releases Burning Lights; lead single “Whom Shall I Fear (God Of The Angel Armies)” has already been a top-5 hit on Christian radio.
  • Boston-based celtic rockers Dropkick Murphys recently scored a seasonal hit on the Alternative chart with “The Season’s Upon Us”. Parent album Signed and Sealed in Blood is out this week. As a part of the promotion of it, members of the band will be working at various New England-based Newbury Comics locations on the album release date.
  • Newcomers twenty | one | pilots put out Vessel, featuring the new Alternative single, “Holding On To You”.
  • The physical edition of Solange‘s EP True comes out today. A digital version became available several weeks ago.
  • Two soundtracks are out this week: the original soundtrack to television show Girls, featuring fun., Grouplove and Robyn, and the movie soundtrack to Stand Up Guys. It features Golden Globe nominated “Not Running Anymore” by Jon Bon Jovi.

Other assorted music DVDs and books out this week include:

  • Season one of the television show Smash, which stars former American Idol singer Katharine McPhee.

Lastly, the new digital-only singles that you can buy this week:

  • New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi return with the feel-good “Because We Can”, the leadoff single from What About Now. (Read my review here.)
  • Ryan Tedder and his group OneRepublic take on an electro-pop sound for “If I Lose Myself”, the second single from their forthcoming album, Native. (Read my review here.)
  • Country star Blake Shelton has a lighter release in “Sure Be Cool If You Did”.

See you next week for more releases!

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SINGLE REVIEW: Bon Jovi – “Because We Can”

"Always" a favorite on the charts.

“Always” a favorite on the charts.

The boys straight out of New Jersey are back. Jon Bon Jovi and the boys, straight off their performance at the 12-12-12 Concert, benefitting Hurricane Sandy relief, are prepping for their latest release and going back on tour to support it. Thankfully, the guys aren’t backed by a thumping electro-pop beat on this record as is what seems to be the case with most of what you hear on the radio today. Nope, Bon Jovi remain in their comfortable pop-rock zone with a new song that isn’t their hardest of the hard, but isn’t a quiet ballad either. For most Jovi fans, it should be more than enough to wet their appetites for what’s to come this era.

“Because We Can” is the leadoff single from the band’s forthcoming release, What About Now, their twelfth studio album, which will be out at the end of March. The song was written by band members Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and Billy Falcon, who you may remember from his 1991 hit, “Power Windows”. It’s very much a socially conscious record for the band, who don’t really tread into that lyrical realm too often (at least in terms of their singles) but it seems to work at appealing to those affected by the economic times of late. You’d think that another rocker from New Jersey would pull off the message better, but the band is steadfast in remaining genuine on this record and the effort shows. It all goes back to a particularly strong chorus: “I don’t want to be a wave in the ocean/I am a rock, not just another grain of sand/Want to be the one you run to when you need a shoulder/I’m not a solider, but I’m here to take a stand/Because we can.” It’s not necessarily the best sing-along hook given the length of it, but the message is strong enough to lead the listener in, about supporting one another and having your voice heard. It’s a feel-good song, almost verging on anthemic or patriotic in a sense. You get into it after a few listeners, at least that was the case for me. However, they take a tad bit of a risk leading off the song with it. I understand the accessibility of leading off with it since it’s the first thing you hear, but I’m not sure that it totally works here. I think an instrumental opener would have sounded better; perhaps there will be a single edit that changes things around. If not, eh, I’ll get used to it.

The verses themselves talk about a couple (Tommy and Gina, is that you two?) who are fed up with their current status: the female is “living life in black and white” and the male, while struggling himself, feels like “a broken promise” but “he said forever and he’ll never let her down.” They live in a mess, but they console themselves in the sound of music (even though the bills are alive with the sound of it too) and rest in each other’s arms; they may not be able to keep up with all the challenges around them, but at least they have themselves. I think I just heard a collective “awww” somewhere.

Sonically, it’s not much of a departure from what they’re been putting out the past few years; a lot of guitar and drum, though the guitar solo is pretty good on this particular song. There’s a nice breakdown in the middle with just Jovi’s vocals against a hard drum beat, which I imagine will be a clapping extravaganza in concert. Jovi’s voice seems to get better with age. I think it’s great that he’s been able to keep it up both live and in the studio. If you’re expecting this to be another “Livin’ On A Prayer” or “Bad Medicine”, then you’re going to be sorely disappointed, but considering that the band has been doing this for the better part of thirty years, I think we can give them a break… because we can.

The band hasn’t had a top ten hit on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart since 2009 when “We Weren’t Born To Follow” did the trick, so I’m not expecting this one to be as big, but it should easily make the top 20. At least I think it’ll have a better chance of doing something than a recent attempt by Aerosmith, who got just short of it with a full-fledged ballad. All in all, it fits into the “good, not great” category, but I’ll take that over “bad”. I just hope their parent album has some harder stuff to show they still have a little bit of edge, but this will at least get them back in the mainstream. Alright, Jovi fans, rock on.

Listen to and purchase “Because We Can” on iTunes.

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We Are Golden: The Contenders For Best Original Song

She's the eye in the sky looking at you.

She’s the eye in the sky looking at you.

Ah, yes, it’s Award Season once again. Time to break out the nomination sheets and the popcorn and find out if your favorites in the worlds of television and film have won awards for their work. Music plays a small role at the first major ceremony, the Golden Globe Awards, including the category of Best Original Song from a Motion Picture. Some of the biggest charting songs from films have won the award, though in recent years, the charts have played less of a role in who actually sways the voters. That is, perhaps, until this year.

This is the first time since the 54th Golden Globes (honoring releases from 1996) that at least three of the candidates for the award have made the Hot 100. The winner that year was Madonna‘s “You Must Love Me” from Evita, which peaked at #18 on the chart; it beat out “Because You Loved Me” (from Up Close and Personal) by Celine Dion (#1 for six weeks), “I Finally Found Someone” (from The Mirror Has Two Faces) by Bryan Adams and Barbra Streisand (#8), “That Thing You Do!” (from That Thing You Do!) by The Wonders (#41) and “For The First Time” (from One Fine Day) by Kenny Loggins. The Loggins song couldn’t hit the Hot 100 at the time because of rules barring songs without a physical CD or vinyl single from entering, but it was an adult contemporary radio number-one. In addition, one of this year’s candidates made the top ten, the first to garner a nomination since the 60th Awards (2002). Two top-ten singles were nominated that year, though neither actually won: “Die Another Day” (from Die Another Day) by Madonna (#8) and “Lose Yourself” (from 8 Mile) by Eminem (#1 for twelve weeks).

Here are this year’s five nominees:

ADELE – “Skyfall” (featured in Skyfall) (#8 Hot 100)
Who didn’t see this one coming? Adele‘s lush number from the latest James Bond film fits the mood perfectly and her vocal is spot-on. It was also the biggest commercial success out of all five nominees. Many a Bond theme have been nominated in the past, including the biggest ones from the likes of Carly Simon, Duran Duran, Madonna and Sheena Easton, but not one has come home with the prize. She’s conquered the GRAMMY Awards, but will she be able to snatch the Golden Globe too? With this being the franchise’s 50th year making films, it may just be the year for this entry to win.

HUGH JACKMAN – “Suddenly” (featured in Les Miserables)
Out of all the songs on the soundtrack, I would’ve expected that Anne Hathaway‘s soaring version of “I Dreamed A Dream” would be nominated for the award, but it wasn’t meant to be. However, this understated ballad performed by Jackman is also a pretty good composition. If the movie sweeps most of the major awards of the night, expect this one to also have a strong chance of winning. Alas, I don’t see that being the case. It just wasn’t meant to be the year of the musical. (I’m fine with being proven wrong, however.)

JON BON JOVI – “Not Running Anymore” (featured in Stand Up Guys)
Here’s a song from a movie that hasn’t even been released in the States yet, though it’s been receiving some mixed reviews thus far. He’s the only performer of the five to actually win the award before, which may prove to be an advantage for the singer; he won at the 49th Awards for “Blaze Of Glory”, the title theme from that film. This is a softer song that has a little bit of twang to it; not exactly surprising since his band scored some success with the sound on songs like “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?” This likely won’t win the Golden Globe, but it should have another attempt to capture an award at the Oscars.

KEITH URBAN – “For You” (featured in Act Of Valor) (#55 Hot 100)
Urban’s song from a film featuring the work of the Navy SEALs is a lighter tune with a really kickin’ chorus, combined with lyrics about sacrifice and selflessness in the face of danger. In addition to hitting the Hot 100, it was also a top ten single on the Country chart. “You” faces a challenge in that the movie wasn’t a critical success and just did OK at the box office. Even some of the biggest names in Country, like Carrie Underwood and Dolly Parton, lost in their respective years. However, the song itself is solid, even with the outside shot that it has to win.

TAYLOR SWIFT & THE CIVIL WARS – “Safe & Sound” (featured in The Hunger Games) (#30 Hot 100)
Swift has had a few songs specifically written for films at this point, but this one by far gets the most praise among her fans. Perhaps it’s because the song is her least mainstream release to date, featuring the once-defunct and now possibly reconciled duo The Civil Wars. It’s another song with a simple arrangement and relatable lyrics, plus it has the youthful appeal with Swift singing the lead. Should she secure the award, she would be the youngest winner since Irene Cara won for “Fame” at the 38th Golden Globes (aired in January 1981); she was 21 at the time. Being from a teen-oriented film, it probably isn’t the top choice, but the unique sound of it could win over the voters.

Find out what happens at 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, January 13, at 8PM Eastern on NBC. Make your prediction in the comments below! (I’m hoping for Adele. Go Skyfall!)

EDIT: Adele indeed won the Award on this year’s telecast. Congrats!

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