Bon Jovi, "What About Now" (Island Def Jam)
Why does Bon Jovi crank out an unending string of relentlessly upbeat, unavoidably catchy songs in the style that made the Jersey boys famous 30 years ago and kept them there 'till now?
Because they can.
The band's 12th album, "What About Now," fairly bursts with the encouraging self-help anthems that have long defined the Bon Jovi sound and style, from the early days of Tommy and Gina "Livin' on a Prayer" to keeping the faith and realizing "It's My Life."
One listen to "Because We Can" and its chorus will be burned into your brain forever. It's one of many Bon Jovi odes to faithfulness, trust, perseverance and a belief that no matter how bad things get, it'll be OK as long as we hold on tight to each other and don't lose hope. Richie Sambora adds a harmonic guitar solo adapted from "Capt. Crash and the Beauty Queen from Mars" from their 2000 album, "Crush."
The title track literally sounds like a session with a self-help psychologist and it's a sure guarantee you'll hear this song blaring at Democratic presidential rallies in 2016.
But the most interesting is "Room at the End of the World," where Bon Jovi sings of heaven as a calm, unhurried place where dead roses bloom again, where truth has its turn, where young love never dies, where there's no sin and "where we never said goodbye."