Over the past 30 years whenever you’ve heard a new Bon Jovi song for the first time—from “Runaway” to “You Give Love a Bad Name” to “It’s My Life” to “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”— you knew who it was. Their best songs have always had defining distinctions—a riff, a gimmick, a hook, something that makes them unique and ultimately memorable.
“Because We Can,” the just-released first single from the New Jersey band’s forthcoming album, What About Now, doesn’t have any of that. It’s not that it’s especially bad, per se. It’s just an unremarkable pop/rock song, no different than any other average pop/rock song on the radio right now. Essentially an inflated, sort-of “Summertime Blues” beat opens the track before it fizzles further into being mediocre filler. Point blank, Bon Jovi are better than this. Hopefully they’ll redeem themselves with the balance of the new album—because they can.