With Keep the Faith, Bon Jovi don't really deviate too much from their well-trodden path… The contagious title track, a vast lyrical hook steeped in EMF overtones, should be well ingrained in your psyche by now. If I Was Your Mother crunches as hard as Bon Jovi have ever done, and even features an ELO-styled vocal bridge that Axl would kill for.

It's the near-ten-minute epic Dry County that takes the honours though. The track builds from a piano lead against a poignant lyric into a huge jam, on which guitarist Richie Sambora gets to flex his muscles. Much of the remainder is typically standard. The Celtic-tinged I Believe opens the record in diverse frame, but soon falls foul of the "whoa whoa" syndrome. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead features the honky-tonk element, whereas both the hook-laden In These Arms and the eerie thumping Fear also chalk up marks. If you want ballads you got 'em. I Want You and Bed of Roses are again much what you'd expect, with the latter being the pick.

keep the faith is in no way a track record. It is a good one. If only the band had the balls to experiment a little more, it could have been a great one. B+

Joe Mackett
Riff Raff
May 1993
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