If Bruce Springsteen's The Rising is the balm to soothe the wound of Sept. 11, 2001, Bon Jovi's Bounce is the antidote to rejuvenate the spirit.

If Bruce Springsteen's The Rising is the balm to soothe the wound of Sept. 11, 2001, Bon Jovi's Bounce is the antidote to rejuvenate the spirit. With Richie Sambora's ballsy guitar playing, Tico Torres' bone-crushing percussion, Dave Bryan's deft keyboards, and Jon Bon Jovi's raspy wail, Bon Jovi celebrates America's resilience with "Undivided," "The Distance," "Love Me Back to Life," and "Bounce," packing wallops of electrifying energy that can uplift the most downtrodden heart. The breezy "You Had Me From Hello" is a monster smash in waiting, but three love ballads on the 12-track set weighs a bit uneven. Lyrics are not Jon Bon Jovi's strong point, but they show growth, as on "Undivided," where he proudly declares: "I've found courage in the smoke and dust/I've found faith in the songs of silence/Deep down it's ringing out in each of us." Minor flaws aside, these Jersey boys have paid a tribute to their neighboring city befitting that famous New York attitude.—CLT