Bon Jovi - The Circle

Bon Jovi – The Circle


I don’t understand Bon Jovi’s purpose anymore. The musical fire is so dead that it’s shocking. It stuns me how this band became so dull.

Written by: Dangerzone

ARTIST: Bon Jovi
ALBUM: The Circle
LABEL: Island
SERIAL: B0013685-00
YEAR: 2009
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Jon Bon Jovi – vocals * Richie Sambora – guitars * David Bryan – keyboards * Tico Torres – drums * Huey McDonald – bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 We Weren’t Born To Follow * 02 When We Were Beautiful * 03 Work For The Working Man * 04 Superman Tonight * 05 Bullet * 06 Thorn In My Side * 07 Live Before You Die * 08 Broken Promiseland * 09 Love’s The Only Rule * 10 Fast Cars * 11 Happy Now * 12 Learn To Love

RATING: 50/100


Bon Jovi Background

Bon Jovi’s ‘The Circle’ follows the hideous country influenced ‘Lost Highway’ from 2007. Old Jon and the boys have allegedly gone back to their roots (didn’t I write that in 2002 about ‘Bounce’?).

Richie Sambora himself claiming this album ‘rocks hard’. It’s easy to be sceptical. Considering Bon Jovi haven’t released anything of real worth to the melodic rock world since 1988.

So exactly what hard rock means to Bon Jovi in 2009 is anyone’s guess. Here we have the answer however and disappointingly there is nothing resembling hard rock.

Instead we have another attempt at modern rock which fumbles with a few leanings towards the past, but not enough to recommend this as worth listening to.

The Songs

Opening single ‘We Weren’t Born To Follow’ is a predictable anthem along the lines of ‘It’s My Life’ or ‘Have A Nice Day’. It has the big chorus made for teenagers on the cusp of rebelliousness. It’s so genuinely inoffensive and pleasant that it belies the title.

The overly sentimental ‘When We Were Beautiful’ sees the band remembering the past, but the guitar sound sounds like U2 from 1987. The opening bass riff of ‘Work For The Working Man’ copies the intro of ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’. It features Jon’s working class lyrics at play with some chants which could be construed as over the top.

It doesn’t set the world alight melodically but ‘Superman Tonight’ has some late 80’s charm going on. ‘Bullet’ is as heavy as the album gets, a modern rocker with Sambora remembering how to solo aggressively.

Unfortunately, lightweight rockers like ‘Thorn In My Side’, ‘Broken Promiseland’, Love’s The Only Rule’ and ‘Happy Now’ drag things down.There’s no sense of urgency or excitement, it all play out like the soundtrack to an angst ridden teen movie.

Also, there’s no resemblance to 1983 while the slower tracks ‘Live Before You Die’ and ‘Fast Cars’ are weak.

In Summary

I don’t understand Bon Jovi’s purpose anymore. The musical fire is so dead that it’s shocking. It stuns me how this band became so dull with a seeming refusal to play anything with a hint of imagination.

The guitar tone is monotonous and the mid paced thud gives every song a sense of repetitiveness. Compared to ‘Lost Highway’ maybe this does ‘rock hard’. But so does Darius Rucker and Weezer I guess. 12 songs of pure nothing. No more, no less.

Bon Jovi on Video

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3 thoughts on “Bon Jovi – The Circle

  1. [Gdazegod ýDull as dishwater. Should rename themselves as Bon Jokesvi.

    So 2009 was the last time we wrote about a Bon Jovi record. Some 13 years ago. This album and what they’ve done ever since is a complete sell out. I’m thinking we should scrub any mention of this band from this site. Stinking out the joint. Lol.

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