Bon Jovi’s nearly three-decade-long success is built on big hooks, driving guitars and anthemic, populist themes.

Such it is with “Because We Can,” the optimistic first single from the group’s forthcoming album, “What About Now," out March. 26.

[More after the jump...]


Presumably written before Hurricane Sandy decimated parts of Bon Jovi’s beloved Jersey shore, the song, nonetheless, serves as the perfect rallying cry for the recovering area. With its “I don’t want to be another wave in the ocean/I am a rock/not just another grain of sand... I ain’t a soldier but I’m here to take a stand/because we can” opening line, bolstered by a big open drum beat from Tico Torres.

The bottom line is if you’ve always hated Bon Jovi and the band’s mainstream rock for the masses, this will do absolutely nothing to change that. If, however, you have a fondness for Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and the boys, “Because We Can” will stand as a testament to their enduring popularity. (Read our recent interview with Sambora here).

Discarding any hard edges, the song goes more for a sing-along, feel good middle road. “My love can move mountains/We can/If you believe,” Jon Bon Jovi sings before the song goes into an a capella bridge in the middle.

There’s no story here, there’s no Gina and Tommy striving for a better life, instead it’s a cheer wrapped in drums, harmonies, and a  fine, subtle guitar line from Sambora. Bon Jovi’s voice sounds a little more nasal than usual in a way that sounds  a little affected here, but that’s something that most casual fans won’t even notice.
 
It’s far better than some of the anthemic work the band has done, including 2009’s “We Weren’t Born To Follow.” And even if it doesn’t have the durable feel of some of the band’s early songs that have now become rock classics, there’s something strangely comforting about “Because We Can” and the band’s consistency.

Bon Jovi, which remains one of the biggest draws in the world on tour, will kick off a global tour in March. "What About Now" will also include "Not Running Anymore," Jon Bon Jovi's solo tune that is up for a Golden Globe.