[HOT TRACK]Mellow Hard Rock? Bon Jovi

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[HOT TRACK]Mellow Hard Rock? Bon Jovi

Although it may be an unacceptable or even unforgivable claim to ardent fans of hard rock music, many such bands sound alike to newcomers. For one thing, vocalists such as Axl Rose from Guns N' Roses or Klaus Meine from Scorpions possess similarly robust and powerful voices and even resemble each other in what they wear.

When it comes to Bon Jovi, however, the distinction, at least in terms of sound, becomes clear. Their sweet-toned keyboard and lyrical vocal play has gained this rock band from New Jersey a reputation, good or bad, of pursuing a popular hard rock sound.

While their easy-listening style did not always win them critical acclaim, it did appeal to the public. Coupled with their exuberant stage performances, Bon Jovi became considerably popular. The four permanent members, vocalist and leader Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora, drummer Tico Torres and keyboardist David Bryan, have also pursued separate careers. They released solo albums or, in the case of Jon Bon Jovi, started an acting career. This has sometimes threatened the existence of the band.

Bon Jovi has occasionally been criticized for presenting too much of an easy-listening sound to be considered a legitimate hard rock band. Songs such as the 1994 hit, "Always" tend to sound more like melodic ballads than hard core rock.

In response, Jon Bon Jovi, who was recently awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities, said, "Bon Jovi was not supposed to succeed. I didn't live the cliche rock 'n' roll life style that 'legends' were made of.

"We tried to keep up with the Joneses until I realized that even if you win the rat race, you are still a rat. But I'm still here. Still the underdog? Maybe. Passionate? Definitely."

Debuting in 1984, Bon Jovi has released nine original albums so far. They have also released a number of singles and live albums. Their most recent album, which is scheduled for release in Korea on Thursday, is called "One Wild Night: Live 1985 - 2001" and traces the last 17 years of their concert tours.

From the band's 2000 hit "It's My Life" to the early "Livin' on a Prayer," listeners can relish 15 hand-picked tracks.

It seems a bit odd that "Always" or "This Ain't a Love Song" are not on the list, but this new release still manages to do a good job in capturing the stage presence of this rock band.

by Chun Su-jin

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