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Bon Jovi - 'What About Now' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/27/50/29/bon-jovi-what-about-now-100-1373164681.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 07, 2013    
 
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This certainly isn't classic Jovi of old but whether you like it or not it's still unmistakably Jovi.

From the late eighties, Jovi were one of my three favourite bands. But as the new millennium unfolded my enthusiasm for them diminished rapidly. They seemed to be taking the fans for granted with never-ending special editions and the live shows became repetitive with the same five or six opening songs. Since the mid noughties, I haven't bought an album and only been to one show. Now Jovi returns with 'What About Now', an album I want to love.

'Because We Can' is a good start, it's not Jovi at their deepest but it's a hell of a lot of fun anyway. The single 'What About Now' is a stereotypical Jovi drive time rocker but one that's slowly growing on me. These two and 'Beautiful World' are energetic but highly commercial rock tracks that will no doubt divide opinion. The heaviest song is 'I'm With You' and this is the one time Sambora seems to be allowed off his leash with lots of reverb and soloing. JBJ dips his toe back in the country pool with 'What's Left Of Me' but for one song that's okay because there's plenty of steel and slide guitar from my favourite axe man. Jovi also returns to the 'Captain Crash...' sound with 'Pictures Of You' whereas the standout ballad is 'Room At The End Of The World' sees them doing their best U2 impression with echoed guitar. Sadly the remaining five tracks are a bit ordinary and predictable. There are a couple of the expected very mellow ballads and some other mid tempo rockers.

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So what's the verdict from a long time fan? Well this doesn't stoke the fire to the old heights but I feel the embers warming a little. The new album certainly isn't up to the every track standard of many of its predecessors but it isn't a bad album either. I'll be honest and admit there's no eventual classic like 'Wanted...' or 'My Life' and there's also no heart breaking power ballads like 'Living In Sin' or 'Bed Of Roses'. Many would be right to ask where is the new 'Dry County' or 'Hey God'? Yes I also accept even at its best nothing here matches the previous heights but that shouldn't automatically mean it's a poor album to discard. JBJ's voice is still in excellent shape and even though the music is exceedingly commercial, it's well played.

Overall this is an amiable record that did entertain somewhat even if it didn't blow me away. Readers will probably fall into one of three camps with this mixed record. It's likely if you've always been a fan you'll find everything you love but if you're a hater, there is absolutely nothing here to change your mind. As for those like me, who prefer the classic days and have strayed, there's enough to draw you back but maybe not enough to rebuild your love.

This certainly isn't classic Jovi of old but whether you like it or not it's still unmistakably Jovi.

Dave Scott

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