Jon Bon Jovi

Destination Anywhere

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Jon Bon Jovi's first official solo album, Destination Anywhere (apparently Blaze of Glory doesn't count because it was a soundtrack) finds the hard rocker attempting to simultaneously make his signature sound more mature and more contemporary. Producer Stephen Lironi tones down the sample-driven rhythms that characterized his work with Black Grape, giving Bon Jovi a laid-back and modern musical bed. Of course, the singer chooses to write melodies and lyrics very similar to those of his full-time band, only less bombastic. And that's the key to Destination Anywhere -- it really couldn't have been made by the band, because there are too many subtle sonics and melodies for the group. So, in a sense, it's a breakthrough for Bon Jovi, because it is the first time he sounds like he's come to terms with adulthood. That doesn't mean Destination Anywhere is a complete success -- it, like his other records, is hampered by filler -- but none of his contemporaries were able to age this well, and the record is a fine example of late-'90s mainstream pop.

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