Friday, September 17, 2021

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Sound Check


Bon JoviBon Jovi
“Burning Bridges”

“Burning Bridges” is, at its very heart, a bit of a lazy cash grab. As the band members get set to formally move on without guitarist Richie Sambora, they have cobbled together this “fan album” of unfinished tracks and long-disposed-of, failed B-sides. Ostensibly, this is an album of tracks that have become fan favorites during Bon Jovi’s live performances, but in reality, it is a low-cost effort to get everyone used to the Sambora-less sound that will permeate their next album, due out next year. Virtually everything here is forgettable and slapdash, with only the (not coincidentally) Sambora-penned “Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning” coming close to being an acceptable single. Bands that are in the game for as long as Bon Jovi run an ever-increasing risk of becoming cynical profit machines. For anyone but the most blinded of fans, “Burning Bridges” should serve as a very telling title. CV

The FratellisFratellis
“Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied”
Cooking Vinyl

The new Fratellis album has 11 tracks on it, but if you do not want to give the Scottish alt-rock outfit that much of your time, you can cut out the fat and get all the good stuff in 13 minutes. That is how long it will take you to listen to the first three tracks, which is really all the album has that is genuinely worth the effort. “Imposters” is the best track on the album, while opener “Me and the Devil” and lead single “Baby Don’t You Lie to Me” are both passable enough, with their heavy focus on Jon Fratelli’s ability to turn a phrase and the band’s uncanny knack for occasionally impersonating Coldplay without sounding like whining schoolchildren. Albums as one-note as this are the reason people pirate music. CV

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