Album Review: What About Now – Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi are currently out on tour and tickets for their Australian shows are on sale now, taking that into consideration could I possibly have put this CD into the pile for review. No, you’re right I couldn’t, it went straight to the top of the pile – actually to be totally honest it skipped the pile and went straight into the CD player.

I am quite enjoying the CD, it isn’t what I was expecting, and I’m not certain how best to tackle my review. I have been a fan of Bon Jovi since the early days, not as far back as their beginnings but still late 80’s. The band and their sound have evolved, as have their hair cuts, but they remain very close to the original line-up and philosophies.

What About Now is a much softer, much quieter album than my favourites. There aren’t the fist pumping, crowd jumping songs that fill their earlier albums, there are moments that remind me of them and there are a few songs that show the potential for those anthemic tracks but on the whole this is a much calmer album. Unlike earlier albums where I fell in love at first listen this one has taken a little while longer to grow on me, but it certainly has.

what about now

This album was released in early March when it debuted at #1 in the US, selling 101,000 copies in its first week. and becoming the bands third album in a row to reach #1 in the US, following The Circle and Lost Highway. It is the 5th #1 album in their career.

What About Now, much like the band themselves and to be completely honest much of their original fan base too, is a matured and slowed down incarnation of the band at their beginnings. This definitely has the Bon Jovi sound, there aren’t many of their tracks that you could hear on the radio and not know without a doubt very quickly exactly who it is. I am finding it to be filled more with ballads than anything that is going to become an anthem, and the ballads aren’t power ballads the way some of my favourites are. It is still going to become a permanent fixture in my playlist and I am really looking forward to hearing some of these tracks live in December.

There are some stand out tracks and I am finding that these change for me with each listen and with what I’m listening for. Because We Can and What About Now remind me the most of the early days. The Fighter is a beautiful acoustic number. All of these tracks are a message of hope, all have a positivity to them, and often the lines that jump out at me are the ones that tell of following your dreams and looking at how far you’ve come – and how that’s exactly what Bon Jovi have done. Take the beauty in everything around you, make the most of every opportunity and, as is repeated many times in Army Of One, Never Give Up.

A little slower and quieter than I would have liked, and expected, but an enjoyable album I will be listening to again.

Track Listing:

01. Because We Can
02. I’m With You
03. What About Now
04. Pictures Of You
05. Amen
06. That’s What The Water Made Me
07. What’s Left Of Me
08. Army Of One
09. Thick As Thieves
10. Beautiful World
11. Room At The End Of The World
12. The Fighter

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