American rock band Bon Jovi released 2020, its 15th studio album on Oct. 2. Initially slated to release on May 15th, the album was pushed back due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The album’s debut single, “Unbroken,” was released almost a year ago in November of 2019 along with a music video and the second radio single, “Limitless,” was made available to the public on Feb. 20 of this year, also featuring a music video.
Taking advantage of the quarantine he found himself in as well as the pushback of the album’s release date, lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi wrote two additional songs that found their way into the new album.
“Do What You Can” — which released as a single on July 23 with a music video released on Aug. 25 — represents the fight against the coronavirus pandemic while “American Reckoning” — which released on July 10 along with a lyric video — is a song protesting George Floyd’s death, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.
These two songs replaced “Luv Can” and “Shine” which were initially slotted to be a part of the album, which also features songs about other current events like mass shootings in “Lower the Flag” and disinformation with “Blood in the Water.”
Speaking about his decision to write a song about the pandemic with on-the-nose lyrics about social distancing, PPE and vaccinations, Bon Jovi told Rolling Stone magazine that he didn’t think anyone would be able to forget how their lives were between March and September of 2020.
“I think this is the Spanish Flu all over again. But none of us, you and I or our parents, were alive 100 years ago. So this is that moment for us,” he said. “This song won’t be about shoulder pads and having a hairstyle. This will mark a moment in time.”
The album might come as a tough listen for a fair amount of Bon Jovi’s fans, as their notions and ideas of who the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band is might be challenged, as the band is diverging from its party anthems and power ballads to sing about something a lot more serious.
Jon Bon Jovi believes that he and the band might get a lot of criticism from their fans for politicizing their music, but he feels it is inevitable and just a part of making such content. In his interview with Rolling Stone he said he does not want to edit himself to the point where he is just writing to sell the song.
“It was far more important to me to make a record that had something to say than it was for me to try to rewrite ‘Bad Name’ 36 years later,” he said. “I would have no interest in writing that song now. But God knows we wanted to write it then.”
2020, Bon Jovi’s 15th studio album is available to stream here.
The lyrical video for “American Reckoning” and the music video for “Do What You Can” can be viewed below.