JODI BONGIOVI "Jodi Bongiovi" (1989)
by Dana Brittingham
Cover: 2 Mallrats out of 10.
It’s an airbrushed picture of Jodi Bongiovi, wearing a fringey-leather jacket with her hands up in the air, like she’s getting arrested for underage drinking (or, perhaps, prostitution). She looks like your typical big-haired Jersey girl at Woodbridge Mall.
Booklet: 2 Mallrats out of 10.
Run-at-the-mill 2-pane foldout, black-on-white type inside with tracking, songwriting and production credits and a short thank you list. The booklet’s one saving grace is the back cover – a color photo of Jodi and her band of hired-guns, sitting on road cases. What am I talking about?! These guys look like they couldn’t get hired at the food court. It’s nothing special. Of particular interest is the fact that nowhere in the thank you list does it mention Jon Bon Jovi. Maybe she didn’t want to swing from her cousin’s nuts too hard, or maybe her dad didn’t let her (Tony Bongiovi and Jon Bon Jovi have sued each other several times over ownership and royalties and shit like that).
Songs: 1 Mallrats out of 10.
You’d expect better with a big name producer like Tony Bongiovi at the helm, but the songs all manage to sound both tinny and over-produced at the same time. It starts out with the album’s single, a lackluster cover version of Jefferson Airplane’s "Somebody To Love," and works its way through a barrage of generic soft-metal album rock and sappy ballads. Sounds very dated, like something you might’ve heard over a decade ago at The Gap while perusing through a rack of acid-washed jeans. One can sense that the tunes are trying to aim for a Pat Benetar or Lita Ford kind of vibe, but they fall well short of the mark. Jodi’s voice can carry a tune alright, but she’s really not hard rock material (she sounds more like Debbie Gibson after raiding her mother’s liquor cabinet).
Comments: Jodi is like the Meadow Soprano of the Bongiovi family. Her father, Tony Bongiovi, is Jon Bon Jovi’s 2nd cousin, was the co-owner of NYC’s Power Station recording studios, and has worked with diverse legends such as Aerosmith, The Ramones, Talking Heads, and Gloria Gayner. But behold: this album is terrible! If you took this down to the shore with you, clams would run screaming! The lifeguards would beat the fuck out of you! Beach combers would swing metal detectors and chase your ass all the way back to Old Bridge! You get my point. This is nothing more than a Jersey girl’s pet project and an excuse to spend lots of her father’s money. Even a video in heavy rotation on MTV couldn’t break this album. Avoid at all costs!