Review Summary: Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Has anyone given a damn about Bon Jovi for the past fifteen years? Their last big "hit" that still gets significant radio play was "It's My Life", released back in 2000, and even that isn't as well-known as their 80s hair metal hits "Livin' on a Prayer" or "You Give Love a Bad Name". It's no surprise that Jon Bon and his crew are trying to become relevant yet again, but in d oing so they've repeatedly hit us with boring album after boring album.
On the opening track and lead single, "Because We Can", Jon Bon Jovi declares that he "[doesn't] wanna be another wave in the ocean", but, contrarily, he and his band have become just another band. Ever since they stopped being an outrageous hair metal band with an in-your-face image, Bon Jovi have just been a bland, uninspired, predictable group with really no image left at all. They now sound like any other boring radio rock band, such as Theory of a Deadman or Creed. Surprisingly, "Because We Can", a boring, cheesy and predictable single, is one of the best on the album.
What About Now
is an album that fails to bring back the popularity of a band who once had consecutive top-ten singles from an album. Like The Circle
, Lost Highway
and Have a Nice Day
, it's an album that only exists to make Bon Jovi relevant again. And like those aforementioned album, it fails to do so. I don't hear "(You Want to) Make a Memory" or "Who Says You Can't Go Home?" on the radio anymore, and it's unlikely that they'll ever get as much as airplay as Katy Perry or Bruno Mars or other pop divas.
All these songs could have been B-sides from any post-2000 Bon Jovi album, yet they decide to rehash their songs from their last five albums to make one new one. Songs like "Army of One" recycle banal cliches, while "Beautiful World" and "Amen" are radio ballads that sound just like any other radio ballad on the airwaves, which is exactly what is wrong with this album: Bon Jovi is nothing but a mainstream rock band making cheesy and inane songs to try and pander to the masses.
The album may have debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but who will remember it? The album's sole purpose is to try and launch Bon Jovi, a once popular and top-ten singles band, back into fame. It's what you'd expect from Bon Jovi, a now bland soft-rock snoozer band that will please hardcore fans in sold-out arenas, but no one else.
But hey, we can, right, so why not?