NEW YORK (AP) — Jon Bon Jovi has been churning out love songs and arena anthems for nearly 40 years, but his latest release “2020,” has taken his music to another level.
It’s Bon Jovi’s most socially conscious album to date. Calling the collection, a “moment in time,” he references COVID-19, the killing of George Floyd, the 2019 Dayton shooting, PTSD of returning soldiers and other issues concerning the 58-year old rocker.
But tackling hot-button topics can be divisive, especially with fans on both sides of the political aisle. Bon Jovi says that’s not his intention.
“I am a witness to history, and if I took that position throughout the project, I didn’t think it would be political. I thought it would be social commentary,” Bon Jovi said.
He defended his approach saying, “nowhere along this line does it say, you know, left, right, red, blue, black, white.”
Originally set for a spring release, the album was delayed, and a tour was cancelled because of the pandemic. That gave him more time to reflect on the world around him. That period added “Do What You Can,” a tribute to those fighting COVID-19, and “American Reckoning,” which was an emotional response to hearing Floyd calling out for his mother as a police officer kneeled on his neck.
“My eyes welled up with tears and I couldn’t help but go in my room and try to write a song,” he said.