Less than halfway there
Have a Nice Day’s unmemorable title track is a big song from big guys with big feelings, but it’s so similar to 2000’s “It’s My Life” that I kept hearing the older, better (but not that much better) song. Every line’s a chestnut; I’m not exaggerating. I suspect their optimism is genuine; it just sounds like bullshit. You gotta do it your way. You gotta believe. Stand your ground and ring the bells of freedom. Imagine a successful middle-aged uncle giving life lessons to a teenager and you get the idea. Bon Jovi seems to have lost that fun, desperate energy that made its earlier hits so propulsive. “Last Man Standing” has some of that vintage ’80s fire, but only enough to show the band has mostly lost it. It’s not a horrible album if you love Bon Jovi. It’s not a good one if you don’t.