I don't like to have to rate a Bon Jovi album three stars, but there is no way I could give 'What About Now' five.
You have to hand it to them, the band still manages to achieve the success, following, and record sales that a lot of other rock bands to emerge from the 1980s can only touch upon. But the band has always evolved with their music, as early as 1992 in fact with 'Keep The Faith', a strong album which had more in common with U2's music, not a bad thing - I like U2. They have to evolve to stay relevant, and I appreciate that, but when this album was billed as 'a return to form' - that is not true. Their last great album was 2005's 'Have A Nice Day', but I did like their subsequent releases, in particular - 'The Circle'.
The target audience for 'What About Now' is not the audience that bought their early albums, and I would put into the easy listening/country market. Songs like 'Because We Can' are Bon Jovi anthems that we've heard before, but it's still a decent song, positive and uplifting, and was in fact the reason I was looking forward to hearing the whole release.
Whilst there are other standouts to be found here, 'Pictures of You' is one of the best on the album, closely followed by the beautiful 'I'm With You', and 'Amen' is a nice tribute to 'Hallelujah'. However, much of the other songs do sound a lot like background music and are largely forgettable, something that I find rare for a Bon Jovi album. But, there is enough decent music here to make me recommend it and safely say that is good, but not essential. If you are new to Bon Jovi's music, you should start off with their 80s' masterpieces and progress to excellent later albums like 'These Days'. 'What About Now' has it's good songs, but it's still one of their less appealing albums to date. Bon Jovi are better than this, and as such have made far greater albums.