Bon Jovi has just dropped a new single called “Do What You Can” ahead of their new album about the events of this year, aptly named 2020.
The song starts off strangely enough with a vaguely country lead guitar riff that only becomes more country sounding when John Bon Jovi chimes in with the first line. A slight twang to his voice lilts its way through the verses and pre-chorus only to have the chorus yield to the more conventional rock and pop sounds of the band.
If the timbre of the song wasn’t strange enough for these rock legends, the lyrics, while good-natured, are a little on the nose. In the video, Bon Jovi walks the empty streets of New York City recounting the events of the year blow by blow.
“Tonight, they’re shutting down the borders
And they boarded up the schools
Small towns are rolling up their sidewalks
One last paycheck coming through”
The song then tackles the strange new reality we face.
“They had to cancel graduation
It ain’t fair to Skype the prom
Our kids sit home in isolation
TV news is always on”
Though the timing may be a little soon since the events of this year have yet to come to a conclusion the song bears a hopeful message at it’s core: “When you can’t do what you do, You do what you can.” However, it’s the second verse where the nature of the song gets specific, almost too specific.
“The chicken farm from Arkansas
Bought workers PPE
Not before 500 more
Had succumbed to this disease”
Overall the song celebrates the sacrifice of frontline workers, the oddity of our new normal, and the resilience of people who are just trying to get by. All good marks of a great rock anthem, and throw in a line about chicken farmers you got a great country anthem too!
The record is set to drop on Oct. 2 and also features a song called “American Reckoning” about the death of George Floyd.