Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

15Nov/0925

CD Review: Bon Jovi – The Circle

Bon Jovi - The Circle

Wait a minute! I was under the impression that The Circle was to be Bon Jovi’s return to form album. Sadly though, “returning to form” leaves a lot to the interpretation as to what “form” is. For those of us that discovered Bon Jovi early on and helped to raise them to superstardom, “form” means the hard rock sound that bordered on metal and, well, kicked ass with its memorable hooks, heavy guitars and fun songs. Apparently for Bon Jovi, “returning to form” for them seems to mean jumping back away from country music and weird re-interpretations of their hits and returning to the generic, drab, “we’re not as good as Springsteen but we’re 10 times more accessible” drivel of albums like Bounce and Have A Nice Day.

There’s nothing at all that makes you take notice of The Circle as a real rocker. There’s nothing edgy. There’s nothing challenging. For Bon Jovi, returning to form simply means returning to a generic AOR sound that will woo middle aged housewives and convince programmers at the NFL broadcasters that they are the band that will “really rock” the pregame show. To sum it up in a single word – “sad” comes to mind.

The Circle is, simply, yet another unmemorable effort from Bon Jovi that is so unbelievably cookie cutter that Oreo would probably be interested in using it to streamline their production costs. To listen to songs like “Live Before You Die” as a prime example, you can’t help but think that you’ve heard this before from Bon Jovi…and heard it a lot better than this is. If you’ve ever heard “Always”, “Bed Of Roses” or “Living In Sin”, this somewhat rocked up ballad ultimately will remind you of the band’s better balladic days.

When Jon Bon Jovi and company try to rock, you can tell that they just don’t remember how to anymore. “Work For The Working Man” shows no sense of embarrassment as it blatantly reached to steal the melody and the bass hook from “Livin’ On A Prayer”; and yet it packs so little of the addictive flavor of the band’s most overplayed song that you really don’t want to listen to it repeatedly.

Being completely honest too, there’s just something phony about listening to a billionaire like Jon Bon Jovi singing about the struggles of “the working man”. Save it, rich guy. It works for Springsteen on some level…and you aren’t Springsteen! Songs like “Bullet” feel like rejects from the Bounce sessions, and the entire album lacks any real attitude from Bon Jovi or guitarist Richie Sambora.

It’s no surprise that the sellout version of Bon Jovi has sucked since the second half of the Keep The Faith album (my ears still hurt from the song “If I Was Your Mother”). Still, the marketing team that works for the Bon Jovi camp fed us all the line of crap that The Circle was going to return the band to their “rockin’ past”. It fails. Garbage album with nothing memorable that will, undoubtedly convince guys that consider having two buttons of their collared shirt undone rebellious pumping their fist and celebrating the return of rock royalty. They are pathetic, as is the music that encompasses this album. Much like 2Pac, the corpse of Bon Jovi continues to churn out scraps that should never have been put on a CD. Sadly though, this corpse is still breathing.

  • http://thesixonefournine.com/ judd6149

    Album reviews don't have to be vitriolic to be good/effective, but it sue helps here. Well said: Bon Jovi – “still breathing corpse”. Great parallel to 2Pac.

  • Pingback: CD Review: Bon Jovi – The Circle Reviews Robot()

  • pez34ab

    does your mother not love you?

  • chris akin

    Just because my mother is a twat doesn't change my opinion of this pile of shit!

  • notoldjustolder

    Part of me def agrees with your review….especially with the 2nd half of Faith – too funny!!

  • theguyfromcanada

    I didn't like the album the first time i listened to it. But now I think it is very good. A lot more complete than any of their 2000 previous albums. Can't believe you didn't like Dry County on KTF!!!! The guitare of this song realy kicks ass

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