The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


The circle


An amazing 25 years after their debut album, Bon Jovi are back with their 11th studio album - their first since Lost Highway in 2007. And the good news is that this could well be Bon Jovi's best most fan-friendly album in years.


There's a variety of styles on offer here from the epic Springsteenesque 'blue-collar' rock of The Working Man (which starts off a lot like Living on a Prayer) through your classic Bon Jovi storytelling of Live Before You Die (which reminds me of Joey from Crush) to the epic style of When We Were Beautiful which is all African-style drums and back up vocals and Superman Tonight (movie soundtrack territory with plenty of tempo changes).


Things start off well with opener We Weren`t Born To Follow which is the type of feel good radio friendly track that has enabled Bon Jovi to appeal to the masses over the years. It's the sort of single you would expect.


The rest of the album has some great moments too: Brokenpromiseland is my favourite track on the album; an epic track with some very un-Bon Jovi like back up vocals. Love`s The Only Rule is the track that has had some people raving about it it is a good song with a typically big Bon Jovi chorus.


The rest of the album is a little more varied and perhaps a little disappointing in places Bullet is unusual in that it starts off sounding like a real thrasher and has some excellent guitar work but doesn't quite hit the spot (at least they are trying which is great), Thorn In My Side and Fast Cars are both promising but finish up being less than spectacular.


The only real ballad on the album is the closer, Learn To Love. It's a pretty positive song with an excellent chorus.


Overall this is good. There is a consistency here that we haven't seen for a while and some very good individual tracks. It's definately a grower of an album.


Best album they`ve made for a long time.







I'd love too say this album is mindless but it's actually the complete opposite: It's TOO thought out, too calculated, and too corporate. I'd go out on a limb and suggest that Jon Bon Jovi doesn't have FANS anymore - he has a MARKET. Everything about "The Circle" is pitched completely towards a demographic - it is highly polished, entirely competent, and completely devoid of passion, excitement or life.


As if all that wasn't bad enough, this is also just another exercise in self-gratification for the man who longs to be the radio-friendly hard-rock Bruce Springsteen. Yawn.