Surprisingly “Work For The Working Man” sucks only a little bit less than the rest of the tracks on Bon Jovi’s latest effort The Circle. The second I heard this blah medium paced rocker previous to it’s release in late 2009, it’s lyrics struck me as ironic coming from an obscenely wealthy music icon. I’m a working man and Jon Bon Jovi sure as hell doesn’t work for me, otherwise he’d still be recording songs that make me jump out of my chair and play air guitar in front of my mirror.
Jon Bon Jovi’s limp songwriting as of late is partly because in the past several years he’s been too concerned with being an entrepreneur and hosting political galas to be a real rock star. Why concentrate on writing kickass songs when there’s hobnobbing to do, hands to shake, pockets to fill, and horned up wives to flirt with? Rock stars always boast that there’s no better job in the world than to play their music in front of crowds on a nightly basis. Sure, being a successful musician or rock star is lucrative, and as you know, offers a lot of tremendous fringe benefits. So why is this guy singing about losing his pension and having to work 2 jobs just to get by?
Jon Bon Jovi’s net worth is estimated to be in the same range of the number of records his band has sold: 100 million. Listening to Jon sing lyrics that question “Who’s gonna work for the working man?” is ridiculous. Jon brazenly announces that he’s “here trying to make a living” in the first line of the song. It’s a warm and fuzzy sentiment, but really just a futile attempt at appealing to the hard working average middle class citizen – the very group of people responsible for igniting the band to fame in early ’80s New Jersey. Most of them aren’t rock stars, but some did take a crack at it after seeing him make it big. Where are they now? Probably looking to be interviewed by The Sexy Armpit.
Jon Bon Jovi may have grown up in middle class suburban Sayreville, New Jersey, but it wasn’t very long before Bon Jovi’s hit records started making them millions. Oh, the woes of having a family and trying to make ends meet on a one hundred million dollar budget! I know Jon, it must be a real challenge to get those utility bills paid at the end of the month when dealing with such a meager salary. I hear the Bon Jovi clan may even have to skip Christmas this year. You know, sometimes I have $9 dollars left in my account when I’m done paying bills? Look out, airing on E! Network soon, Jay’s True New Jersey Story.
Talk about Captain Crash, more like Captain Obvious! Themes such as the economy, unemployment lines, and government involvement are as easily detectable in the song as the moments in concert when Jon’s about to twinkle his spirit fingers. You can see them coming from 7800 miles away. The song’s clunky title, awkward chorus, and political theme fail to unite with the run of the mill Jovi musical background. Which reminds me about an old story. Once upon a time…not so long ago, Bon Jovi sang a song about a working class couple. Although “Work” shares a similar chugging musical intro that recalls their signature song “Livin’ On A Prayer,” their hopes to evoke the same emotions as “Prayer” has for the last 25 years were squashed.
John F. Kennedy’s Inaugrual Address in 1961 included his famous call to action “…ask what you can do for your country.” Essentially, Jon lyrics stand behind Americans who work their asses off every day and are still getting screwed. Now it’s the governments turn to help the people out a little bit, and no matter your political beliefs, that’s not a bad idea that Jon has. The bigger issue here is why he and his guitar slinger Richie Sambora couldn’t turn these passionate sentiments into a huge walloping rock song with an indelible chorus that doesn’t merely ask a question, but instead commands results. Rock music needs to resist and challenge the status quo, but unfortunately Bon Jovi’s “Work” output is too sluggish to be taken seriously.