Album: What About Now
Artist: Bon Jovi
Release Date: 8th March 2013
Bon Jovi are:
Jon Bon Jovi: Vocals/Acoustic Guitar
Richie Sambora: Guitars/Backing Vocals
David Bryan: Keyboards
Tico Torres: Drums & Percussion
Hugh McDonald: Bass
John Shanks: Production/Assistant Guitarist
We all have our favourite albums, the ones we fall in love with, and we would keep listening to for years and years on end, but there are also many albums that we have listened to, and loved by many people and then they get bogged down, because of how awful they have become. And it’s albums like that, we should regret the past with.
In this series, I am going to be looking at many albums that a majority of them were good at the time, but then get really bogged down, because of how terrible they were. Now, I know that not every album I am reviewing for this series, I am not saying that all the albums are bad, some of these albums I just didn’t enjoy as much as I did with many others that were released. I don’t like to be negative, but my opinions on these albums might be different from everyone else.
In the first few blogs of this series, I am going to be covering the worst rock albums from my top favourite rock bands, that are Bon Jovi, Nickelback and Green Day. I will tell you the albums in later blogs, but I must say that not every song is bad on these albums, but the albums are just not enjoyable from my point of view. There are others still to come as well, but first I will be covering the album that Bon Jovi have done in nearly 30 years since their debut in 1984, their twelfth studio album ‘What About Now‘.
Information and Track By Track
Released on March 8th, 2013, this album was released diversely between the fans of Bon Jovi, some defended it and say it’s the best thing they have done, others say it’s not their best album at all, and unfortunately, I am with the latter of those two arguments. My problem with ‘What About Now’, it’s boring. Really, really boring. And the worst part, this was the first new Bon Jovi album I picked up in the first week of release!
I know there are a few songs on this album that are good, but not their best ever, but there are a few on here, that really bog it down with how terrible it is. I don’t like to be negative on a band that I really love, but I personally think that this album was not their best and their follow up, ‘Burning Bridges’ is way worse, except for the first four songs from that album too. This album has a few good songs, all spread across the album, but it still doesn’t hold up from how boring this album is. So let’s go Track by Track and see why ‘What About Now‘ is not the best Bon Jovi album to be released:
1. Because We Can
This was the album’s first single and it does start off interesting, but it doesn’t last at all. There is a problem with this opening track though, we don’t hear any opening guitar lines until about 25 seconds into the song. Like many of the classic and recent Bon Jovi albums, each one has many different opening guitar lines to start the album off, but on this one, it’s just Jon’s vocals with the chorus and a drumbeat with no guitars until the chorus ends and then the song just kicks in. It’s just not the best start at all.
2. I’m With You
Now, this song is not bad, lyric wise, but the music is just washed out and bogged down by different production takes, especially Richie Sambora’s guitar on this one. Richie Sambora is normally a really good guitarist, but with many of the songs on this album, the guitar doesn’t sound as powerful or as heavy unlike the other albums. But Jon’s vocals are the only saving grace for this song.
3. What About Now
This song is probably one of the best songs on the album, I think it could be the best opening track, unlike Because We Can, including this song was the second single. And I personally believe that it could save this album, but many of the other songs, really drag it down. This song is amazing, and worth listening to.
4. Pictures Of You
This song is not the best on here. Jon’s vocals start the song off, behind a synthesiser and the guitars kick in after 20 seconds, and the lyrics are quite bland and boring. It’s also sounds the Richie’s guitar parts are absent until the solo kicks in and the synthesiser kind of bogs it down.
This acoustic number is not actually that bad, and the lyrics are quite nice, but the problem is that the guitar parts keep playing the same lines over and over again throughout the entire song. And then the orchestral parts, really give it a nice touch, just like some of the other Bon Jovi songs with orchestral parts in them, which are really good, but there aren’t that many.
6. That’s What The Water Made Me
This song is also one of the best songs on the album, and I think the same with What About Now, as this song could have saved this album, but as of nearly all the other songs, that are so bland and boring, this song is kind of lost in the middle here. However, Richie’s guitar parts are at their strongest here and Jon’s vocals are at their best here and this song is actually amazing.
7. What’s Left Of Me
This song is not bad here, either. It has more effort put into it, unlike, Pictures Of You, it has a nice country effect like what The Bellamy Brothers would have done and this song, is actually much better than many of the worst songs on this album.
8. Army Of One
I am not keen on this song at all. I like how it opens with the organ, and then the guitars pick up, but it’s just so boring and in the verses, where they keep singing ‘I’m a soldier’, that’s just adding something to a song that doesn’t work, and then in the chorus, with ‘Never give up, never give up, you’re an army of one’, come on, that’s hardly a chorus, it’s sounds like just backing vocals without any other lead vocals to cover the whole chorus. I would have loved this song if it just didn’t get those things wrong.
9. Thick As Thieves
This song is alright musically with the piano to start the song off, but it’s just boring. Almost five minutes, this song is, and it doesn’t have anything to pick up on. The lyrics are alright too, but I just can’t find this song enjoyable at all. I personally think that it could have been better, but the only time this song gets better is the last two minutes of it and it picks up from there, but it’s just a massive slog to get through until you get to there.
10. Beautiful World
Now, as with the other good songs on this album, this one is a good song too. I love the guitar on this song and it’s definitely like Bon Jovi, and it doesn’t feel as washed out, and I feel that they put more effort on this song, but it doesn’t beat songs like ‘We Weren’t Born To Follow’ or ‘It’s My Life’, but it has potential to try and save this album, but as I said, with the other songs, it doesn’t.
11. Room At The End Of The World
I think this song is alright, but it’s still not the best of them, and it does get boring, after a long while. I kind of feel that it could have been better for making it more uptempo and having a straight rock feel, but no, it’s just a dragged out and bogged down song, which I feel it needs to be better.
12. The Fighter
This closing track is awful. It doesn’t end the album on a strong note, unlike how it opens strong, but not brilliantly. The acoustic guitar is just constantly repeated and the lyrics are just a complete mess, and I don’t think it makes much sense. It’s terrible and Jon’s vocals, just feel tired and bored as though he wants to finish this song and get home. It’s just not special at all.
(There are three extra songs in the Deluxe Edition of the album which I will put here)
13. With These Two Hands
This song is amazing, but it’s a shame that it isn’t added to the standard version of the album. I would have loved this song to be the closing track unlike The Fighter. This song is what could have saved this album like many others, and I love how this guitar has become more prominent on here, and it’s brilliant.
14. Not Running Anymore
This acoustic song is actually by Jon Bon Jovi, himself and I am happy that this song is a good one, but it’s a shame that you have to play the whole album to get to it, and I love how this goes on and I think it’s better than The Fighter and Amen actually, even the latter is better than the two, and I love how the guitar is being played with so many good twangs and strums throughout and it doesn’t sound boring.
15. Old Habits Die Hard
Just like the last track, this is an acoustic song and Jon’s only vocals, again and this is actually a good song, but it’s a shame that it had to be put on a boring album, with a few good songs and some bad and boring ones. I don’t think it’s as good as Not Running Anymore, but it’s definitely a related song for anyone and a neat way to close the Deluxe Edition of the album
Well, to put this bluntly, this isn’t Bon Jovi’s worst album, but it just isn’t the best, and half of the album is just boring and dull, where as the other half of the album and the Deluxe Edition tracks, have some good songs here. But it’s worth regretting because of how bored I got with listening to this album, many times and I don’t want to say I hate it, by any means, I just didn’t enjoy it as I should have done. I would have loved it better if it was more uptempo in many of the songs that were so boring and not so drawn out either, but there was another problem when this album was released and in June 2013, Richie Sambora informally left Bon Jovi, during the What About Now/Because We Can Tour in the United States, before they were due to come into the UK, so new guitarist, Phil X and producer John Shanks had to stand in for him, and in 2015-2016, they released their album of unfinished and unreleased tracks Burning Bridges, which is also not the best album they did, except for the first four songs and their biggest anticipated 2016 album, This House Is Not For Sale, which was a lot better than those two predecessors, and their other albums were much better before this album. I don’t really have much to say, but if anyone enjoys this album, that’s fine, but it’s not their best and it’s not always worth listening to.
I will be rating this album a lower score in the Regret The Past series: 4/10
Well, thanks a lot for reading this review, if you like to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, the usernames are below. I hope to be better in upcoming Podcasts, depending on when I am free as well. If you have any suggestions on how to improve my presentation I am all ears. Below, I will put a list of reviews that are going to come next, and there are only going to be four, and I will do another Favourite Songs That Tell Stories Relating To Me as well, including a new series for classic albums that are loved by millions of people around the world, including me, since they released them before I was born.
Here are the upcoming reviews coming soon:
- My Top 10 All Time Favourite Albums #8: Blossoms: Cool Like You
- Lewis’ Album Reviews: The Resistance by Muse
- Favourite Songs That Tell Stories Relating To Me: Coming Home by Busted
- Lewis’ Classic Album Reviews #1: Master Of Puppets by Metallica
I hope you enjoyed this review and I hope you enjoy what is coming next from me. It’s took me a while, but I hope to see you soon on the Quixotic Group! I am Lewis, and I will see you next time!