Review this album
Apr 16, 2013I’ve been a fan of Bon Jovi’s work for around the past 7 years, since just after the release of the fantastic Have a Nice Day in 2005. Their latest What About Now is one I’d compare mostly to their previous album, 2009’s The Circle, where song structures & choruses became more arena-friendly & lyrics strayed from personal struggles & more in the realm of politics & self-empowerment. And as a result it made for a welcome slight shift in their overall sound. However, despite a few duds here & there in the band’s discography, What About Now is the first Bon Jovi album I’ve ever disliked as a whole. Why, because they made some monumental change that alienated a lot of people? Nope, actually the problem is quite the opposite. In a nutshell it’s just a watered-down version of The Circle. I’d compare the situation most to a disappointment from last year, Mumford & Sons’ Babel. Their first album (which FYI I’m comparing to The Circle), while containing a couple duds & having a fairly repetitive formula, still managed to keep things fresh throughout, offering little bits of diversity in the process as well as some heartfelt lyrics. Next time around however they took the small bad things about the first album & blew them up, making everything feel formulaic & phoned-in, despite a few highlights. Here though it’s an even worse case; not only because there’s less key tracks, but also because there’s an all-around dullness that’s being overproduced-ly forced in your face throughout. Easily the biggest flaw with this album is how ridiculously uninspired, pretentious & corny the lyrics are. It names off pretty much every conceivable cliché “you can do it”/”self-empowerment”/”going through hard times” phrase in the book & doesn’t even try to hide that fact. And not only that, there are a few moments where Bon Jovi is practically copying themselves. First off, the vocal melodies & structure of the verses in the title track sound just like lazy a conglomeration between The Circle’s Superman Tonight & Happy Now. I’m With You subject matter-wise is just a self-important & less effective version of Keep the Faith’s Dry County, and Thick as Thieves is just Bounce’s Right Side of Wrong without the great lyrical imagery. Oh, and the verse melody in Beautiful World is a blatant copy of Matchbox Twenty’s How Far We’ve Come. And musically, while the album is far more tolerable in this department, it still feels like not as much effort was put in as there was on previous albums. Some tracks find themselves either without a good hook or trying desperately (and failing) to find one. And even Richie Sambora’s great guitar solos are for the most part reduced to mindless noodling. I thought Because We Can was a mediocre first single when I first heard it, but honestly it’s still one of the more notable tracks here. I mean despite the generic lyrics, at least it sticks in my head nicely. If there’s one track here that I’m truly impressed by, it’d be What’s Left of Me, which paints vivid & believable pictures of people going through hard times & willing to push through in a way that works far better than similar attempts here. It even has a 2nd verse that doubles as a brief social commentary about the decline of the classic American punk rock scene. Reflective self-analyzing ballad The Fighter’s pretty good too. Overall though this album left me cold, and it’s my first (and hopefully only) big musical disappointment of 2013 so far.
Top 4 tracks: What’s Left of Me, The Fighter, Because We Can, That’s What the Water Made Me.
Score: 45/100… Expand
Apr 13, 2013It looks like Bon Jovi have finally hit that point where rock bands start to really water down their sound. There are no timeless anthems here, just a bunch of bland amateur sounding tunes that aren't representative of one of the biggest rock bands of all time. After hearing this, it's no wonder that tickets for their tour went on sale months before the album's release a classic sign that the album's going to be awful. It looks like Bon Jovi are going to need a much needed time out to decide the musical future of the band. Surely when they play their classics like Livin' On A Prayer, Blaze Of Glory, Bed Of Roses and Always, they wonder where they went wrong with their new work?… Expand
Mar 12, 2013I have been a Bon Jovi fan since 1983. I have every album they have released, including releases in other countries. Without a doubt, this is the worse album in Bon Jovi's career.
I have been very critical of their releases since These Days, but at least in the releases since that album we had elements of rock. Some glimpses of hard rock. Sadly it appears those days are long gone. It appears that JBJ is more concerned with pleasing his 36-52 year old female demographic than actually staying true to what he is. JBJ is a rock star, who for whatever reasons appears to be very ashamed of his past. The past that built his legacy, the past that fans who purchase the concert tickets to catch a glimpse of what he and his band used to be.
If JBJ cares what the critics and fans say, then hopefully he will read what is being written. JBJ needs to go back to a time that made him and his band what they were, an amazing hard rock act. Put out a New Jersey type of album. Then and only then will he reclaim what was once his. Sadly, I don't think he cares.… Expand
Mar 14, 2013One of the best Bon Jovi's Album, the songs bring back the same style of their most recent albums like Lost Highway and The Circle. Because We Can like the first single does show pretty much how the new album sounds. And it even contain a Richie's Sambora solo song: Every Road Leads Home to You, what is unusual, but great.
Mar 21, 2013They were more enjoyable when they copied Loverboy. Jon Bon Jovi had more fire than Loverboy in the 80's when they targeted that demographic of fans with sound and style. They hired Loverboy's producer, Bruce Fairbairn to make it happen. Listen to the similarities between Loverboy's “Turn Me Loose” and BJ's “Let It Rock.” By Keep The Faith they nailed it down. They were better than any other band playing/writing that style of music. But then every release since has them searching for a new identity. They finally nailed it with What About Now, they are the kings of boring rock.… Expand
Mar 28, 2013The album is a mixed bag, tough it isn't bad at all, I wish the band could have taken more risks this time, however they played it safe with more or less the formula that's been working since 2000's Crush. There are good songs here, from the single Because We Can, to others like Beautiful World, Pictures of You, Amen, That's what the Water Made Me and the title track, What About Now. As usual there are some tracks that you might want to skip, Army of One, The Fighter and Thick As Thieves are songs that I barely stand to the end. I don't like them.
The album is available in two formats, the "normal" edition offers a solid selection of twelve songs and a "deluxe edition" that ironicaly has more problems than the other. This version has up to 16 tracks depending in your region, but the bonus tracks are somewhat dull, too soft and make it hard to listen the album to the very end. It is notable, however, the inclusion of Every Road Leads Home to You, from the recently released Aftermath of the Lowdown, the third solo album by Richie Sambora. Cool.
Speaking of Sambora, his guitar skills are missed a lot of the time, which is a shame, sometimes you'd wish a powerful six string solo and what you get is some sort of different riff. However, there are more good solos here than in 2009's The Circle.
Jon Bon Jovi promised a rock album, and I feel kind of cheated. Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting another Slippery When Wet, this album is way better writen and the songs are more thougtful, but this album is way more into the pop side, you'd wish some rockin' guitars on the style of 2002's Bounce for a change, maybe a more raw sound, because What About Now at times feels over produced.
To wrap it up, it is a good album, with catchy songs, some social comentary here and there, good writing over all, and an upbeat positive vibe over the 12/16 songs, but there's the strange feeling that the guys had a lot more to offer. Maybe is the producer, who isn't precisely a rock n' roll producer by any means, who knows.
There is no reason not to buy What About Now if you want it, it deserves the chance, but Bon Jovi's evolution is less meaningful this time, they've played it too safe this time and are in debt fir their next album.… Expand
Apr 1, 2013What About Now is an average record. It has its ups and downs. It is not at all bad, but it is the worst Bon Jovi album I've seen. It has good songs, such as Because We Can, I'm With You, Army Of One and Beautiful World but the ballads are awful. JBJ insists. Thick as Thieves is simply awful and Pictures of You is the worst song they have done in years. Sambora's solos dissapeared. I'm With You is the only song with an awesome solo. In the next album, they should return to their rock and roll roots… Expand
Apr 2, 2013To me i liked Bon Jovi best when they had some stories to tell. Sure the big songs like 'Prayer' and 'It's My Life' have their place but what the last album 'The Circle' lacked were good songs (it might have had around 3 in my opinion).
So what do i make of 'What About Now'? I did not have high hopes at all but after hearing it through i certainly did not see it as throwaway as what some reviewers have. Sure it is not 80's and 90's Jovi but there is plenty to enjoy here and it is better than 'The Circle'.... i am not whincing as much but probably not as good as 'Have A Nice Day', which i thought was their best album of the 2000's with 'Lost Highway' a close second.
Highlights for me were:
* Because We Can (i initially did not like this song but it has grown on me over the last few weeks. Plus my fiance loves it and says it is her favourite BJ song..... i know, i know...)
* What About Now (there is always one good rock song on each Bon Jovi album; this is it)
* That's What The Water Made Me (another BJ rock song, similar to 'Superman Tonight' which i liked off The Circle)
* What's Left Of Me (i have a soft spot for the 'Lost Highway' album which was very underrated and has a lot of great songs on it. This sounds like it could have come straight off that 2007 album)
* The Fighter (i hear a lot of criticism of BJ ballads, but this one is simple and deserves praise)
* With These Two Hands [bonus track] (another great BJ rock track)
* Not Running Anymore [bonus track] (another ballad and technically a JBJ solo song, but this has great storytelling lyrics, something that was missing off the last record)
I really liked the maturity of some of the songs here. My only criticism of this record is that it could have done with some more rock songs over ballads (like 'Bounce') and some more 'meaty' guitar shredding by Richie Sambora, but at least the ballads are good here. If buying definitely pick up a copy with the bonus tracks as i have enjoyed them a lot.… Expand
Aug 26, 2013Incrível The Circle Foi Excelente What About Now Foi Igualmente Sensacional Registrando De 2009 A 2013 Um Dos Melhores Períodos Do Bon Jovi.
Top What About Now
2-That's What The Water Made Me
3-What About Now
4-I'm With You
5-Army Of One
Jan 22, 2014This is another amazing album from Bon Jovi and I'm not at all un pleased. People are not liking this album because it not "hard rock" enough but think about it. People grow older. 30 years Bon Jovi has been making music, wonderful music at that, and they've grown 30 years. Wouldn't it be creepy if a 51-year-old man wrote a song like "You Give Love a Bad Name"? Their music may not be as "hard rock" as it used to be but the lyrics still have power and the songs in whole still produce emotion. Just because they are still not making 80's hair metal hits doesn't mean they are making bad music. These days the hits are all pop/hip hop and Bon Jovi has done well to survive that. They haven't given up completely on rock. "Because We Can" is a great example of an awesome song off that album, and so is "I'm With You." This album was worth the money and true Bon Jovi fans will accept and embrace the change.… Expand
Apr 12, 2013There's enough gritty social commentary and songwriting class amid the occasional cheese to suggest that, on the long road to credibility, Bon Jovi are finally more than halfway there. [9 Mar 2013, p.52]