Label: Island 2020
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
2020 Vision? More like gone blind, gone deaf, voice gone. 2020 give love a bad name? The very best thing I can say about the effort, at least he's trying to do good and supporting Black Lives Matters and various anti-violence happenings. The singer songwriter or if you prefer Bruce Springsteen-lite music of "American Reckoning" has strong lyrics about the awful George Floyd killing by racist coppers in America and included are the very last words by Floyd, yes, I can't breathe.
Lyrically, this is a rather enjoyable album performed by the really rich, white privileged rocker... and some background musicians with no real meaning or say. Musically, it's the same dull and uneven affair as usual. It's Americana, pop/rock, but not really the kind that people enjoy and support to its fullest. There's a couple of real nuggets in between all the dust though. The 70's Glam-lite of "Brothers in Arms" take Bowie influences and mix it up with typical Jovi post 1995. The slightly uptempo rock and soft whoo-ooh choir of "Beautiful Drug" conjures up the brief prospect of something wicked along this dusty road. I believe it's a case of middle of the road though. Listening to this over and over again, there is nothing that suggests this not to be the case.
Final verdict: Jon deserve some credit for lyrical highlights about human rights, social justice (Lower The Flag), etc. But if the Jovi's are hoping to get out of the mess they've been in since that glorious ROCK period of fame (and the main reason why they're still popular today), they'll have to come up with something better and stronger than 2020. How about 2021? 2022? or 2023?