What About Now review by Bon Jovi

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  • Released: Mar 8, 2013
  • Sound: 4
  • Lyrics: 4
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 4 Poor
  • Users' score: 5.6 (89 votes)
Bon Jovi: What About Now
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Sound — 4
Dear friends and commercial partners,

The day is finally here! Bon Jovi are back! We've built our brand all over the globe over the past 30 years and in that time we've delivered nothing but the finest solutions and most efficient service to our clients. This year the living legends return with "What About Now", 12 tracks of booming stadium rock to suit any need.

It doesn't matter what you're advertising. It could be a Hollywood rom-com, a theme park opening or just a half-price sale on pine wood flooring; if you need it to seem like a really big deal, Jon's got the song for you. Enquire today!

Bon Jovi really do love a good fairytale. Their new album "What About Now" is overblown, overdramatic stadium flatulence from start to finish but it would be unfair to overly criticise something so fit for purpose. Unless Hollywood studios have started looking for a different sound or their audience has suddenly stopped aging, this album will do perfectly well.

The formula is familiar but a little different from their last few. The country twist of "Lost Highway" is left to the past but so, unfortunately, is the (relative) heaviness of "The Circle" and "Have A Nice Day", which will be a disappointment to the many who may have thought it was the start of a new era for a band who had lost their harder rock edge. Every other song is a ballad of sorts, and while the hooks are strong on "Because We Can" and "Beautiful World", the incredibly talented lead player Richie Sambora is mostly confined to basic arpeggios and occasional, throwaway licks. For all the high drama the absolute peak of adrenaline comes with an open hi-hat and hard downstroke and nothing more on "That's What The Water Made Me". That's genuinely it if you're looking for anything to get your blood pumping.

Lyrics — 4
As for lyrics, let's put it this way. If the cheesy tunes fill you with inspiration, then there's a chance the cheesy words will strike a chord too. Be warned though, these are real classic cases, abound with the clichs of a songwriter who's run out of things to sing about. There's genuinely a "baby, baby, baby" on "That's What The Water Made Me". Reading the booklet is half after-school special and half adolescent Tumblr page, all done via the pen of an experienced rockstar. As long as you hold strong, be yourself and eventually fall in love with a beautiful girl, you should get by without these lyrics.

Overall Impression — 4
This is worryingly middle-of-the-road. What Bon Jovi do have that most bands don't is the ability to wring a tune out of even the most questionable stylistic choice, and while "What About Now" is far too safe to be considered a disaster, their hook-writing instinct does carry them through this almost on its own. Only enough for a few of the discerning fans who may still be loyal to this tired old hit machine.

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53 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Zerath
    Am I the only one who started hearing Chris Daughtry Singing "What about nooooow?" in my head?
    iommi600
    "What About Now" If this is a question, allow me to retort: you guys still suck hard.
    Superperfex
    I still don't like Bon Jovi. I really wish I could like them but I just don't get them. I'm writing an album titled, "I Don't Get It"
    Salvo416
    These guys lost it after 2005, the tragic day where Jon Bon Jovi learned how to write country songs and uninspired nickelback-y rock.
    slh0209
    and you are a douche. Ya the album isn't like what they use to be but they havent lost it with their sound on the old stuff. Criticize the album not the band's overall sound. I doubt you can do any better especially since you're a fan of a guitar player who's been a has been for years
    Abacus11
    Let's slow down for a second... How could you POSSIBLY criticize someone for being a Tony Iommi fan while simultaneously defending Bon Jovi? Bon Jovi made relatively pleasant sounding by-the-numbers pop rock for teenage girls in the 1980's and now make relatively pleasant sounding by-the-numbers pop rock for middle aged women who like to occasionally feel like "rockers" while avoiding anything too edgy. Tony Iommi plays guitar in Black Sabbath. Have you ever listened to Black Sabbath?
    Onehitsrock
    Comparing Toni Iommi/Black Sabbath to Bon Jovi is like comparing Don Perignon to Boone's Farm...It makes no sense. Godfather and pioneer of heavy metal guitar to cheese-covered pop-rock.
    katherinefranic
    Excuse me? I am not a middle aged woman, but yet a teenager. Bon Jovi is still amazing. Anyone who doubts that just wants to find a reason to start a fight. They are still one of the biggest bands in the world. Don't star going off about how you think I know nothing about classics, because I could show all of your asses up about any band facts? trivia from any band from the late 60s to the early 90's I know my stuff like the back of my hand.
    bradd101
    Woah woah woah, I like Bon Jovi and all, and I've never been a massive Sabbath fan, but you do NOT insult the God of Metal himself
    iommi600
    Ah, the smell of butthurt... it beats laughing gas. And sorry to break it for you, but you don't need to have a band or "do any better" than Bon Jovi to have an impression of their music. This rule also extends to... any artist.
    florence007
    They're a band that have been living off basically two decent albums for the past 30 odd years now. They are tiring, boring and should have buried themselves deeeeep into the grave looooong ago. I saw then two years back (thankfully I didn't pay for the ticket), and can you guess in one word what they were like? Well I can't think of a word that means both "a*se" and "crap" at the same time, so I'll just settle for arse and crap.
    florence007
    They're a band that have been living off basically two decent albums for the past 30 odd years now. They are tiring, boring and should have buried themselves deeeeep into the grave looooong ago. I saw then two years back (thankfully I didn't pay for the ticket), and can you guess in one word what they were like? Well I can't think of a word that means both "a*se" and "crap" at the same time, so I'll just settle for arse and crap.
    Jazz-
    I've never been a big Bon Jovi fan, but as a rocker i do agree that "Living on a Prayer" and other songs they made are genuine great rock anthems. But this just sounds like they're trying to hook into justin Bieber's demograph, which is kinda sad, and i hope they return to their roots.
    Dimarzio45
    EHH. Still beats Bieber! lol
    OctaveThunder
    Their newer albums are only ok in my opinion. I think that the whole alternative rock sound just isn't that great for them. I love Bon Jovi, but they need to find their old sound.
    CloudStrifeNL
    Haha, I'm really laughing my ass off with all the comments. If you don't like Bon Jovi or the album, don't listen to it. I do like the album, sue me. Calling something crap or awesome is a waste of time. It's called an opinion. And in my opinion this album is great.
    Meta1H3ad
    If you have the right to voice your opinion, so do we, and my opinion of the album is it sucks...
    CloudStrifeNL
    And that is your right indeed. Nonetheless, I can still laugh at the comments like the one Andy3630 makes XD
    IWasMaiden93
    I'm a big Bon Jovi fan, I'm seeing them in April in fact, but I was not expecting anything special... It's not Lost Highway WTF but it's not Slippery When Wet either At least they are played a lot old tunes like Runaway at the show I wouldn't mind something drab like this if Richie would have been given more room to shine... He'd barely in th mix on most song nonetheless given room for a good Sambora Solo
    bradd101
    This is so horrible....yet....Ican't stop listening. Fucking Nickelback effect
    maminHoo
    I don't understand why people post comments like: uuuuu I listen to black sabbath, i'm soooo coooool, bon jovi sucks, bon jovi fans know nothing abot rock tralalalalala.
    starfire666
    Well, just finished my first listen and I must say there is a lot of undeserved crap regarding this album floating around. Sure, this is no classic Bon Jovi, the guy just doesnt sing like he used to, but there is still some amazing songwriting happening!
    widdie5150
    This album is another steady Jovi offering,lacking Sambora solos but still ok. Their lyrics have always been based on an uplifting/pick yourself up kind of stuff but most fans would not expect anything else.
    BENDO789
    It's sad really. Despite being famous for cheesy anthems they've had some brilliant musical moments in their longer, more progressive stuff like Blood on Blood and Dry Country or even their heavier songs like Hey God and Last Man Standing. At this stage in their career they oould've been completely self-indulgent and written the album which they wanted to. Instead they strung together 12 bland, radio ready songs and called it an album. Even if they release another album, I very much doubt that'll be interesting either.
    taytay8b
    This album is a big disappointment. Almost seems like little effort was put into the songwriting process. Bland songs, bland lyrics and even a dull production (Mr John Shanks...) The Circle was alright but it was better than this, and even the new songs on the greatest hits album seemed promising, but this album threw all of that away. Richie's solo album he put out a few months back had more soul than this.
    ciogga
    Bon Jovi have always been pop rock and this album is the same. So what if most of it could pass muster as the next Pink single, it's a strong ballads album and if that's not what you're after then move along, nothing to see here.
    kiba56
    I loved the album. Sounds like a Bon jovi one to me. Very good IMO
    DebsNZ
    I'm a die hard fan of 26 years, but this album sucks. The second one I won't be buying. I almost choked when they did Lost Highway, country WTF, but ok I'll let them have their weird little experiment and some songs on it are actually good, but this one is truly awful. If I hear JBJ sing the line I'm a soldier one more time I'm going to have to hunt him down and slap him. Army of One, the verses are kind of OK but the chorus is so repetitive I can't stand it, and same with Because We Can, Amen, I actually laughed at that one. I mean, who is this? cause it isn't in any way the Bon Jovi I have loved for 26 years, Jon's voice even sounds like he is trying to put some weird country flavor into it. Jon I beg of you, PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!! Rant over lol
    Al_Shaiba
    i'm a huge Bon Jovi fan, i basically have all their CD & DVDs, but this album is their worst, the last good album was Have a Nice Day. very sad to see my favorite band turn into this. even Chinese Democracy is better than this.
    leony03
    I kinda like the two songs they've linked here but the rest of the album is pretty meh.
    Strat4jazz
    Jon is leveraging his time to run for political office once the music career has faded, IMO that time is now, this is the weakest selection of tunes he & the band have ever released. Richie still has some stuff to say but JBJ is done.
    Andy3630
    Political office? I certainly wouldn't vote for a guy who hasn't written a good song since the 80's... but that's just me lol
    Tarsplitter
    yeah **** obama. this is exactly why I never vote in the presidential election. the candidates are never great songwriters.
    azrael4h
    I'm once a big Bon Jovi fan, back in the late '90's, but with their last couple of efforts, I think they need to take another long break. Richie Sambora's solo album walks away from this one hands down, and I felt that was lacking considerably compared to Undiscovered Soul. I tried to find a song I liked on this album. I can't. It's not as bad as The Circle though, and it is better than One Direction, Taylor Swift, or Justin Beiber. Thankfully, There's a new Hendrix out. Otherwise all my album purchases this month would be classic rock and blues and classic metal that isn't new. Not that the Hendrix is new, but it's Hendrix, so it doesn't count.
    poland
    I like 1 song they wrote "Wanted dead or Alive". Other than that not a fan. Fun song to play on a 12-string.