Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.

The Faith Project: Bon Jovi—New Jersey

October 25, 2010 By: Category: Greatest Hits, The Faith Project

Inspired by their mutual love of the INXS record Kick, Matt and Jeff have decided to take another listen to their favorite classic and forgotten records from the 80s. This is the Faith Project, and it is 100% guaranteed to contain absolutely no analysis of George Michael’s Faith.


New Jersey was the first CD I ever owned. I won it in a radio contest in the summer of 1989. I was the right caller. I wrote down the previous night’s top twenty and recited it back to the DJ. I didn’t have a CD player then. My parents didn’t have a CD player. I went to the neighbor’s to listen to it because they had one. I listened to it a lot for not having any way to play it back myself.

So I was expecting this one to sound like the summer of ’89 all over again, which maybe it does. It’s just that summer is a lot cheesier than I remember it being. Which, why is this a surprise? It was middle school. I liked a lot of cornball Top 40 hair metal in middle school. Slaughter, anyone? But Bon Jovi had to have been doing something right in the late ’80′s because they’re still around and literally everyone from that era isn’t. I am not counting Brett Michael’s second career as being “still around.”

So what did they do right? Well, they found a way to make hair metal less about the metal and more about the pop rock, more so than any of their contemporaries. Nobody was confusing them with Judas Priest. They had a charming and versatile front man who could also sort of act—and I don’t believe I’ve seen David Coverdale make a cameo on 30 Rock yet. They hired Desmond Child to write their hits. And they never took themselves terribly seriously. (more…)