Bon Jovi released their 15th album, 2020, on Friday

Bon Jovi is back with a timely new album.

On Friday, the Jon Bon Jovi-fronted rock act dropped their 15th studio album, 2020. Originally slated for a May release, Bon Jovi postponed the album and canceled their planned tour due to the coronavirus.

Like many, Bon Jovi spent time reflecting during quarantine. 2020 — originally a nod to the November election — has the band's signature anthems but also includes two new tracks, about the pandemic ("Do What You Can") and the Black Lives Matter movement ("American Reckoning"), written during the shelter-in-place orders when he bounced ideas off his wife of 31 years, Dorothea Bongiovi.

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"She said, 'You can do better,'" Bon Jovi, 58, recalls of his wife's blunt feedback of early drafts.

The songs are a far cry from Bon Jovi's carefree, career-defining 1986 smash album, Slippery When Wet.

"I grew up in a wonderfully middle-class, suburban New Jersey town where everyone's parents worked to try to achieve the American dream, so I couldn't write anything other than 'You Give Love a Bad Name,'" he says. "But at 58, if I tried to rewrite 'Bad Name'? I would say, 'Yuck.'"

Bon Jovi has no regrets releasing such weighty new material.

"I was absolutely proud to put it out there, even to run the risk of criticism or cancel culture or anything else," he says. "The great gift of being an artist is the ability to be a witness to history."

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Jon Bon Jovi, with bandmates Phil X, Hugh McDonald, Tico Torres and David Bryan
| Credit: Clay McBride

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