Singles Party: Bon Jovi ‘Because We Can’

The crew looks at the new single from Jersey’s favorite sons…

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Originally, for our first Singles Party of the year, we were going to examine the new single by the white-hot singer Mika. However, when word spread that Bon Jovi would be unveiling its new single “Because We Can” on Monday morning, January 7th, it was our duty as journalists, but more importantly, New Jerseyians, to dedicate our utmost attention to Jon and the boys.

The single is the lead cut from the band’s newest studio album, What About Now? which will be released on March 26th on Island Records. It’ll also a tune that’ll no doubt be on every setlist for the band’s upcoming world tour (which’ll roll through MetLife Stadium in New Jersey this summer).

The single is currently available on iTunes for download…but before you do, check out what The Singles Party has to say.

Lauren Stern: In case you missed it: Bon Jovi debuted their new single “Because We Can” today and I don’t know about my other Singles Party compadres but I feel like I heard this one before. So while listening, I took the liberty to Google set lists from the last two times I heard Bon Jovi: the 12/12/12 concert and the Bamboozle Festival (YES, it was bothering me THAT much). After no previous occurrences of the song popped up, I realized that it sounded so familiar because it sounds quite similar to other Bon Jovi songs.

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Now, I want to make this clear: I’m not saying I hate the song. I think it’s great and it will definitely have the same affect on the Bon Jovi fan base as it’s infamous predecessors “You Gave Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ On a Prayer.” But all I can really say is that it’s the “typical Bon Jovi track” and based on that it seems to me like they aren’t going to take a risk with the direction of their next album. To me, that’s a tad disappointing because as a fan, I really would love to hear something different. Verdict: Add to Playlist

Brent Johnson: Have you heard the latest Bon Jovi single? Sure you have. It’s the one about living in the moment and facing down adversity and conquering all. No, not “Livin’ On A Prayer.” No, not “It’s My Life.’ No, not “Have A Nice Day.” No, not “Everyday.” This one is called “Because We Can” — and its defiance-in-a-can message sounds a lot like every other single the New Jersey icons have released since the turn of the century. Which isn’t bad, per se. It’s just a tad boring. What’s sad about this song is it sounds like a castoff from the latest Shrek soundtrack — or Bon Jovi trying to write his own version of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Then again, Bon Jovi acolytes will likely love “Because.” It’s got a monster beat, a beaming chorus, a solid Richie Sambora guitar solo, and a sound that’s fit for a stadium filled with fans ready to sing along. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.

Kelly Gonsalves: Bon Jovi wins this round. As always. “Because We Can” takes all the best parts of Bon Jovi music and melds them together in this unbearably catchy sing-along. The track opens strong with some chant-like gang vocals that prompt the immediate clapping of hands; it also helps that the words are very easy to memorize and impossible to resist singing along to once you know them. And that’s not to say the lyrics are poorly constructed or overly simplified – to the contrary, the feel-good metaphors, amusing manipulation of words, and vivid story-telling show clear evidence of carefully-crafted writing. But hey, what else do you expect when it comes to Bon Jovi? These guys know exactly what they’re doing. They don’t just put out songs; they put out anthems. “Because We Can” falls right into that category with ease. Verdict: Add to playlist.

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Bill Bodkin: Bon Jovi has a formula and it works. It works the same way eggs go with bacon. It’s got that big chorus, that inspires hope and a fist in the air and this song more than any single the band has released since the post 9/11 album Bounce, has some of the most heartfelt and personal. It’s a song about accomplishing anything through the power of love…and if there’s ever a song JBJ’s home state needs to adopt as their theme for 2013. It’s also a bit breezier and easy going than the usual Bon Jovi single too, which is also extremely welcoming. In the end, this is the infectious kinda single you’ll be humming till the early weeks of summer. Verdict: Add to playlist.

Jason Kundrath: Boy, oh boy! Bon Jovi is at it again. But this time they’re telling a rather different tale! …oh, wait a second. Nope! It’s the same one they’ve told a million times before. It goes something like this: “Somewhere in America, there is someone who wants just a little bit more from this life! And, by golly, with the power of love on their side, they will overcome the odds!” Yes, pretty much everyone can relate. We all want more. We all want love. But it seems what Bon Jovi really wants is to write the same anthem again and again. And I will gladly admit that they’ve done it very well before. Several times! But this is where I DRAW THE LINE. “Because We Can”? Really? It’s almost as if someone asked them why they keep on writing this same song over and over, and that was they’re self-satisfied response. But listening to the overwrought, anthemic chorus line doesn’t make it any clearer: “I’m not a soldier but I’m here to take a stand / Because we can!” Whoa, Jon! What’s up with your use of pronouns? Are you speaking for yourself? Or is it a collective? But that blatant laziness is just the tip of the iceberg here. The song is completely phoned in. It sounds like Jon made a demo and played all the instruments himself. Every element sounds fake and lifeless, from the piano tones to the the hollow drums. Even Sambora’s solo has absolutely no edge. It’s something like really bad power pop. But hey, just have a look at what my fellow Pop-Breakers had to say. I guess they really can! Verdict: One and done. (and maybe once again for laughs).

Final Verdict: We wait for Joe Zorzi’s thoughts, but even if it is negative ones, the majority rules and this majority says you gotta download the new Bon Jovi single and keep it in regular rotation.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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