Bon Jovi’s twelfth studio album ‘What About Now’ has the band indulging themselves in basic normal ‘rock’. I say ‘rock’ as it’s in essence only the basics of what rock music really is. ‘What About Now’ seems to me to be an album parading itself as a ‘rock’ album, offering what it feels is true rock, but instead comes across as nothing more than a mere imitation of what it wants to be. Which is really what the album is. It’s an album that has incredibly little to offer, and sounds almost lazy and cheap. It’s a shame as Bon Jovi has before offered some great recordings, which sound just great to put it simply. So why, if a band is capable of writing what is essentially great music, have they instead produced an album that just doesn’t come across as anything good, and is just a shallow imitation of what they’ve done before?
It seems to me like ‘What About Now’ is one of those albums where the band in question (in this case Bon Jovi) have done what they’ve normally done before, but for some reason or other have just missed out on the essential essence that makes up their music. Whatever it is that makes Bon Jovi’s music great is just completely absent on this album, and as a result it’s just coming across as an incredibly poor effort. The music parades around, featuring guitar riffs and bass and is very pumped up at times, but it seems to never quite hit the mark like it should be doing. Even the more quiet songs on the album, which should come across as deep and emotional moments just come across as shallow and cheap, with there being very little to no substance in the songs themselves. It is almost like Bon Jovi have produced an album which is a parody of themselves, which is clearly not what they’ve intended to do at all, (and if it was what they intended, then why the hell are they trying to do that?). It’s almost funny to a point, but I think for Bon Jovi it’s just incredibly disappointing.
There’s the odd one or two songs that are enjoyable on the album, but as far as the songs go, they do not measure up to the level that some of their previous work has done. Perhaps some of the more hardcore fans will be swayed by the music, and somehow manage to enjoy the album, but for the most part, I don’t see how this album is going to appeal to a great many people. I find it just bizzare that a band like Bon Jovi have produced an album which just comes across as lazy and uninspired. There’s nothing new on this album, and nothing that will inspire anybody. To me, it’s just cheap, lazy and generic rock music. Instrumentally, the album isn’t impressive, and lyrically (if I dare say), it is appalling. The lyrics on the album are incredibly poor and just boring for the most part. There’s nothing poetic or inspiring, just lazy and basic.
Overall, ‘What About Now’ is an incredibly poor effort from a band who really should know better. As a band, Bon Jovi have demonstrated before that they know what works in music, but they seem instead to just go for the easy option and produce something that is just lazy. Sure enough, there’ll be people who will enjoy this album, and what is has to offer. But as an album, there’s incredibly little substance on it. It’s just full of ordinary and generic rock music which if we’re honest with ourselves, we have actually all heard before. I don’t know what Bon Jovi were thinking with this album. In my opinion, they’ve put in as much effort into the song-writing as Nickelback do. I should say now, it isn’t an album that can’t be listened to because it is so poor. It’s not something where when people play it, they’ll just want to turn it off immediately. It’s just a lazy ‘rock’ album that has no effort put into it at all, and as a result is incredibly disappointing, and for the most part, is just boring.
- ★★☆☆☆ 2/5
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