Bon Jovi's sophomore release found the New Jersey group continuing with its engaging mix of hard rock dynamics and blatant pop-metal overtones, and primed the pump for the coming popular explosion of Slippery When Wet. Ever since the keyboard call to arms of the breakthrough "Runaway," Bon Jovi had understood that real success lay in a billowing smoke, soft-focus derivation of true metal, where Journey-style synthesizers and soft rock chorus vocals were the name of the game. To that end, 7800° Fahrenheit tempered its black-leather rock & roll with a rudimentary form of the sound that would make Bon Jovi superstars. They puffed out their chests for the groupie-groping, Mötley Crüe-style catcalls of "In and Out of Love" and made sure "King of the Mountain" rumbled with boys-night-out bravado. But they seemed much more comfortable with the twittering ballad "Silent Night" or "Price of Love," where arena-ready riffing met smoke machine keys and vocal trills. There was even "Tokyo Road," a valiant attempt at the epic scope of Springsteen that featured a Japanese-language intro and full-on character development. It was in these moments -- when the tenets of metal tried on the hairstyles of pop -- that 7800° Fahrenheit burned its brightest; the professional songwriting and increased cash flow of Slippery When Wet just made the existing mercury burst.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus