What About Now (album)

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What About Now
What About Now, Bon Jovi album artwork, 2013.png
Studio album by Bon Jovi
Released March 8, 2013[1]
Recorded January–August 2012
Length 51:36
Label Island
Bon Jovi chronology
Inside Out
What About Now
Burning Bridges
Singles from What About Now
  1. "Because We Can"
    Released: January 7, 2013.[4]
  2. "What About Now"
    Released: February 11, 2013

What About Now is the twelfth studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi. Produced by John Shanks, the album was released on March 8, 2013 in Australia and March 12, 2013 in the United States.[5] The album was promoted throughout the band's 2013 Because We Can: The Tour. It marks the final Bon Jovi album to feature Richie Sambora before he left the band in 2013.[6] The album debuted at #1 in the U.S., where it sold 101,000 copies in its first week, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200. What About Now became their third album in a row to hit #1 in US after The Circle and Lost Highway and their fifth #1 album during their career.[7] The album has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide, going gold in Germany selling 100,000 copies.

Recording and production[edit]

In an interview given to Classic Rock magazine, guitarist Richie Sambora stated that the album was recorded before his solo album Aftermath of the Lowdown was completed. He and Jon started to write and before they knew it, they were in the studio with the band. "The record is now finished and sounding great, and we start our 2013 tour in February, so we'll be at a stadium near you very soon."[8]

Richie Sambora also characterized the new material as a compilation of “different elements”; yet reassured old fans that they will be just as pleased with the new work as they have been with the old for over 30 years.[9]

Music videos were produced for the first two singles "Because We Can" and the album titled track "What About Now". A music video was also made for the Jon Bon Jovi solo song "Not Running Anymore" which is included on the album as a bonus track along with the track "Old Habits Die Hard". Both songs feature on the soundtrack to the movie Stand Up Guys. On December 13, 2012 it was announced that "Not Running Anymore" would be nominated for a Golden Globe Award[10]


The album artwork was created by Liu Bolin and was revealed on January 10, 2013. The cover artwork features the 4 members of the band painted behind a collage which features a soldier with a guitar and walking up a mountain with a yellow and blue American flag, 2 hands wrapped in bandages, a headshot of a woman, some roses and the band's heart and dagger symbol. A pinwheel is also seen in the background. The cover artwork is also seen on the back, though the collage has more pictures to it and the band members are absent.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 50/100[11]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]
Daily Express 2/5 stars[12]
The Observer 2/5 stars[14]
Time Out 2/5 stars[15]
Virgin Media 3/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[16]
Daily Star Sunday Positive
NU.nl 3/5 stars

Critical reception of the album has been generally mixed to negative. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 50, which indicates "mixed or average reviews", based on 11 reviews.[11] While Caroline Sullivan from The Guardian states that "the band have reached out with the sort of empowering platitudes and riffage that will give fans on this summer's stadium tour something to punch the air about",[13] Stephen Unwin from the Daily Express was less favorable, claiming that the album "is the closest thing to predictable from the poster boys of American rock ’n’ roll, which for their most myopic fans is the closest thing to wonderful."[12]

Phil Mongrendien, from the Toronto Star, criticized the track "Army of One" for finding them "descending into lyrical self-parody with its 'never give up' motif hammered home artlessly" [14] while the title track's guitar "hook nods too much to Kraftwerk's 'Computer Love' (and, by extension, Coldplay's 'Talk')".[14] James Manning, from Time Out, believes that the band "won't win any new fans with their twelfth album [...] but they're unlikely to lose many either."[15]

Kim Carr and James Cabooter of Daily Star (United Kingdom) were positive, stating that "Bon Jovi are back to their rock roots on their best album for 20 years."[17]

Ian Gittins, from Virgin Media, thought "the band's perennial propensity for clichés and Hollywood blockbuster-style happy endings invariably make it difficult to take Bon Jovi as seriously as they crave",[3] though he later admits that "there are some good tunes. It's a decent soft rock party album. It's probably also about time that Bon Jovi knew their limits."[3] For Stephen Erlewine, from Allmusic, "there aren't so many big hooks on What About Now -- just the raise-your-fist anthem of 'Because We Can,' with most of the sweetest melodies coming from the softer, quieter moments, such as the acoustic 'The Fighter' and the Christian ballad 'Room at the End of the World'.[2]

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition[18]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Because We Can"   Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Billy Falcon 4:00
2. "I'm With You"   Bon Jovi, John Shanks 3:44
3. "What About Now"   Bon Jovi, Shanks 3:45
4. "Pictures of You"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Shanks 3:58
5. "Amen"   Bon Jovi, Falcon 4:13
6. "That's What the Water Made Me"   Bon Jovi, Falcon 4:26
7. "What's Left of Me"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Falcon 4:35
8. "Army of One"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Desmond Child 4:35
9. "Thick as Thieves"   Bon Jovi, Sambora, Shanks 4:58
10. "Beautiful World"   Bon Jovi, Falcon 3:49
11. "Room at the End of the World"   Bon Jovi, Shanks 5:03
12. "The Fighter"   Bon Jovi 4:37
Total length:

Charts and certifications[edit]


Bon Jovi
Aditional Personnel

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format
Australia March 8, 2013 Universal Music CD, CD+DVD, Digital download
United Kingdom
Ireland Mercury Records
France Mercury Records, Universal Music
United States March 12, 2013 Island Records
Canada Universal Music
Japan March 13, 2013


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