As anyone who’s known me for more than 5 minutes knows I LOVE Bon Jovi and I have since I was 13. They could put out an album called “Belching with Bon Jovi” and I would gladly buy it. That being said here are my thoughts on “The Circle” which was released on November 10th.
The overall sound of the album is definitely a throwback to Bon Jovi’s earlier days and a 189 degree turn from their last album “Lost Highway”. There are no steel guitars to be found and Ritchie Sambora has several guitar solos the likes of which haven’t been heard on an album for years. Also back are the “arena songs” that just beg to be heard and seen in concert- my personal favorites are “Back When We Were Beautiful” and “Working Man” even though (or maybe because) the bass line on “Working Man” is almost identical to “Livin On a Prayer”.
But this album isn’t “Slippery When Wet Part Two”. Certainly optimism is the overall message but it’s a little more subdued. Songs like “Can I Be Happy Now” showcase the will to survive more than sheer joy. This is certainly to be expected given the current state of things and the fact the members of Bon Jovi are 20 years older than when they first sang “Livin On A Prayer”.
The love songs are more mature too- no back seats are mentioned in such gems as “Love’s The Only Rule”.
The question that people have been asking me all week is “Do you like the album?”. While I cannot fathom Bon Jovi putting out an album I didn’t live they have had a couple I didn’t love. I am happy to say that I do indeed love “The Circle” and have it in my personal Top 5 favorites. If you loved Bon Jovi in the 80’s you very well may feel the same way.