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What About Now
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 24 March 2013
i have reviewed a few releases from BJ in the last 10 years and before getting into the review wanted to mention that this is their first release since These Days which i didn't actually purchase on the release date. I was on holiday and had the Amazon box waiting for me when i returned a week after the release. Reason for mentioning this is that I have always formed my own opinions before reading press reviews etc. On this occasion I read some online reviews and the sentiment were pretty negative.

As an overview this is a very good album by BJ which is full of songs which are quite different compared to each other and also represent who they are today and what they think music is in essence. It would have been an embarrassment if they churned out SWW or New Jersey as they are now in their 50's. Time moves on, lives change, experiences shape who we are and this is also reflected in their music. The maturity of the music is what stands out for me. This is not stadium-friendly -punch-your-fists-in-the-air-hard-rock. But this is a selection of enjoyable songs which are sitting very happily on my iphone, CD player and car.

A measure of a good release is how many times you listen to an album end to end without skipping tracks. There have been very few releases by BJ since These Days which have afforded this pleasure (with the exception of Have A Nice Day and to a certain extent Lost Highway).

The downsides to the release is by far the very cheap, look and feel to the CD product itself. As many BJ songs are based on the story telling it's a disappointment to find no lyrics, songwriting credits or photographs either - but yes it is a very cool album artwork cover for sure. The lyrical content does at times feel weak and rushed in some songs where the impression of laziness appears.

Because We Can: radio friendly and easy to listen to. The next gen of BJ fans such as my 7 yr old and son and 4 yr old daughter are jumping around to this - so should be happy with that! 3/5
I'm With you: amazing sound and brilliant structure - quite dark and serious subject matter. Also has a red hot scorcher of a guitar from Master Sambora. My favourite song 5+/5
What About Now: a song which has the potential to be better lyrically. Again quite simple in nature and could have been better with more effort on lyrics and solo. Also feels a bit short 3/5
Pictures Of You: a song again which is off the beaten BJ track but the lyrics and atmosphere have me on the hook. My daughter also likes me singing it to her 5/5
Amen: this is unplugged at it's best and the acoustic stringing of Master Sambora bring this to life with some pretty epic vocal efforts from Jon 4/5
That's What The Water Made Me: it's a reasonable song with a decent up-tempo which lacks in many of the other songs but feel the repetitive nature will soon get the skip treatment 3/5
Whats Left Of Me: would badge this with a new jersey Springsteen feeling and something which is a natural fit with Lost Highway. It has a hook and some decent lyrics 4/5
Army Of One: Thumbs up for taking a risk on format of song and structure. I like the marching nature of the song and the chanting with the lyrics and again Master Sambora shines with his solo 5/5
Thick As Thieves: A pretty good power ballad which is what these guys have shyed away from for quite a while. Some questionable lyrics about an electric chair for robbing a bank though!? 4/5
Beautiful World: A typical up-tempo track which shows they can roll out a rocker when they want to and without being over the top, it it the best up-tempo track on the album 5/5
Room At The End Of The World: wow what more can I say! Another off the grid song with depth, emotion, and some great subtle guitaring from Master Sambo 5/5
The Fighter: acoustic end to the standard album and would rather have finished with "Room" personally as this feels a little empty and the album ends slightly too flat 3/5

BONUS
With These Two Hands: WTF is this not on the standard album!? It has great tempo and an addictive riff which I think is first class. Very worthy of being in the album and could see this working live 5/5
Not Running Anymore: gets skip treatment after listening to "with these 2 hands". It's a JBJ song and reminisce of songs from Destination Anywhere. A decent song yes but feels out of place 3.5/5
Old Habits Die Hard: by now the spark and charm of the album ended 2 songs ago and this doesn't do anything for me. Doesn't get any airplay 1/5
Every Road: Master Sambora showcasing how fine his album Aftermath Of The Lowdown was. Nice to give it some time on the BJ album but if you know your music you will have this already 5/5

Final words from me on this are that I would like to have seen Richie flex his riffing and solo muscles further on the album. I think there are enough songs which lend themselves to his high emotional style of solo's and i was wishing some of the solo's went longer. But as a now 40 year old fan listening for 27 year I should be pretty grateful to say they are still making the music I enjoy and have been able to pass on to my kids who both were excited to hear the album - and even more so with Richie's album last year. So overall, all is good with Bon Jovi and this is a good album full of decent music. Enjoy!!!
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on 16 June 2013
I don't know what made Bon Jovi such a bore the last years, apparently money and richeness isn't as funny as we mortals think?
Gone is the fun of the 80s. When grunge took out the fun of rock and roll, bon jovi were the last ones standing and having a blast, unfortunately, one decade later they fell pray to a world in crisis.
The songs are not entirely bad but, no fun and no bon jovi quality.
I was stupid enough to buy the extended delux version, more depressing songs for a few more bucks...
As stated in the header, if you thought that The circle and Bounce were redundant, listen to What about now and you will see that you were wrong.
What about now? Because we can, yes now do so...
What s left of me? Not much these days
Beautiful world? Now start to live in it
With these two hands? You've used them to craft better things...
Old habits die hard ? Such a shame the habit to rock did...

If you have the urge to own all bon jovi records, wait a year and buy it for 0.01 pound and you might get value for money.
I wish I could be more positive but, sorry it is not possible...
Why 2 stars?
One, it is bon jovi who have given us slippery, new jersey, and the magnificent young guns soundtrack, etc...
Star number two: I for one am mot going to blame them for trying, only next time, I do hope they try harder...

Cheers
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on 23 December 2014
I came a bit late to this Bon Jovi album,but that's not unusual as I very rarely buy albums as soon as they come out anyway.
The first track 'Because We Can' is one of these great sing along songs that Bon Jovi do so well and a joint favourite for my top spot along with the foot tapping 'What's Left Of Me'........I defy you not to sing along with this cracker!!!
Overall,John's voice still sounds great to me and Richie's guitar playing is first rate and this clearly shows on the vast majority of tunes on this beautiful album,I think all the tracks on here ooze real class.
It is in a similar mould to a few previous Bon Jovi albums but that's what the majority of older fans want to hear I believe.
It evident that Bon Jovi are like a fine whiskey and are just getting better with age and maturity.
Cheers guys......until the next one.
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VINE VOICEon 22 July 2014
I picked this up again this year and why didn't I realise the first time round how good it is? Maybe because it's a little different - it's as if they decided to experiment a bit, like Crush (more pop) or Lost Highway (more country). What About Now has a marching, military theme, with the band camouflaged on the cover (look closely!) I really liked The Circle so I must have been disappointed that this wasn't like the previous one, but all credit to them for keeping things fresh.

There is no shortage of great hooks and passionate lyrics, and there are some really good strings (synth?). Once it sinks in, the song Amen is jaw-dropping, and there are some good slower-burners toward the end, as with most BJ albums. Richie is more laid-back and the guitars not quite as attacking and dominant, and Tico's drumming is softer. The album could almost be a letter from the front lines, I can picture some squaddies chilling out in a camp. I'm not sure whether that was the idea but it works for me.

I highly recommend this CD to fans new and old.
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VINE VOICEon 16 March 2013
Having read most of the reviews for this album I have to say I agree with most,this is not a great album,I am slightly dissapointed but even Bon Jovi's weaker songs arent that bad.As stated Jon is now 51 and you can't expect them to sound the same as they did in the 80's It's the slower tracks I prefer AMEN,THE FIGHTER and ARMY OF ONE.The single BECAUSE WE CAN grows and will sit nicely along side there big hits.
WHAT ABOUT NOW nearly thirty years of recording and touring and still a great band,perhaps we expect to much but I'm very glad they are still entertaining us and every album cannot be perfect.Not sure about this one time will tell.

Ihave to say I am not keen on the packaging,having purchased the Deluxe edition I was hoping to get lyrics etc,it@s minimal and flimsy.

*Thought I would add that I have played the album a few more times and I have to say I LOVE IT.
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on 24 March 2013
Have been reading all the reviews for this for about a week before I eventually bought the album and wasn't sure what to expect. You can tell from my review title where I stand on "the circle" and some reviews saying this was worse filled me with dread.

However, I'm not sure this is either as bad as some people think...neither is it a 5 star album either. But as bon jovi album goes there are enough tracks that have an element of "rock" and even a guitar solo or 2 that just about break free from the production. In the hands of bob rock or the sadly departed Bruce Fairbairm some of these tracks could have been much stronger.

For those criticising John Shanks then I think you are forgetting one important fact....Jon Bon Jovi is the boss and what we hear is no doubt what he wants us to hear....so instead of pointing the finger at Shanks you have to accept he is been directed by JBJ.

Standout tracks are "because we can" , "that's what the water made me" , "pictures of you" which has a real guitar solo..the rest are fine if not earth shattering. And as some others have pointed out the lyrics can be cringe worthy but I can forgive that! And there is one track that is really like something matchbox 20 have done......will add this later.

If as a loyal but slightly BJ fan you are still debating buying I would say yes. I'd also say buy Richie's solo album too. Oh, and buy "hey hello" by "hey hello" from ginger wildheart....which has more guitar, solos and singalong hooks you can shake a stick at!!!!
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on 3 May 2013
I've been a Bon Jovi fan since Slippery when Wet, and have seen them in concert many times. Having been increasingly disappointed by their album releases sine Crush, this was the first album I seriously considered not buying.

I was lucky enough to win tickets to see the band at the BBC where they performed songs from the new album and was won over.

There is nothing surprising on this album. Songs about working class heroes facing hard times and not giving up, feel good rock and the obligitory ballads.

For me the stand out song is "Amen", Jon's tribute to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

There's a new guitar sound which creeps into a few songs and doesn't feel like it belongs there.

Overall, it'll get a few plays and completes the album collection, but won't have the longevity of Slippery or New Jersey.

Nostalgia for the 80's keeps me loving the band, but every album feels like its been thrown together and the lyrics produced by some Bon Jovi lyric generator software.
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on 3 April 2013
I would have given this album 5* but there were a few songs i wasn't too sure about. Overall another great album though. Another reason i only gave 4* is the cover. It's got to be the worst cover ever with a very pointless poster in side. I'm not sure why it's like that. Maybe is was designed by an ex soilder, which if it was is great, but i just thought it was poorer than normal. Apart from that Bon Jovi are still a really great band and after following them for 27 years, i always buy their albums anyway!
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on 29 May 2013
This is a totally different type of sound to most will be used to from Bon Jovi (mainly Jon I think). Still some good tracks on there but does in my opinion miss an anthem or two to bring it alive a bit more. Nice inclusion of a Richie solo song although, with how things are between those two at the moment this probably wouldn't make it on there at the moment! Possibly more for the die hards this one.
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on 14 June 2013
I bought this album so that I knew the songs ready for the UK tour in June 2013. We went to the Etihad Stadium, Manchester to see them on Saturday 8 June 2013.

This is not a 'classic' Bon Jovi album, so don't buy it if you're expecting it to be like Slippery When Wet or New Jersey. But all of the songs are pretty good (and some very good - 'That's what the water made me'), and now that we've seen them play some of them live, they do play well. We took a few play throughs to get into it, but now it is looping in my car, some songs are very good - title track, and 'Because we can'.

I think it generally lacks Ritchie Sambora's guitar magic, and now that he has withdrawn his services from the live show (temporarily I hope), perhaps its clearer to see why there seems to be almost no RS magic on the album.

If you are a BJ/JBJ fan, I recommend you buy this album - you will like the development of their act in their 30th year. But if you are new to the band, choose something else to get going.
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