Bon Jovi Put Their Noses To The Grindstone One More Time

noah | November 9, 2009 10:00 am

Our look at the closing lines of new music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to The Circle, the eleventh studio album by New Jersey arena-rock stalwarts Bon Jovi: • “Longtime fans will be delighted, but those who think Jon Bon Jovi and crew are thieving hacks will have 12 more examples to bolster their argument.” [Bill Brotherton, Boston Herald] • “But even while Mr. Bon Jovi is sympathizing with the common man, the scrape in his voice is never wrenching. And while the arrangements are mildly darker than on the group’s previous albums, this group is still drawn magnetically to swelling choruses, its ambition of scale still grander than its ambition of import. On ‘We Weren’t Born to Follow’ and ‘Thorn in My Side,’ the flamboyant guitarist Richie Sambora manages to show off a bit. But while invigorating, these feel like moments of indulgence — rare flashes of id in a band now moving with common purpose.” [Jon Caramanica, New York Times] • “Jon Bon Jovi has floated several interpretations of the album’s title. ‘Some may say that with this album we have come full circle. Others may see the circle as never-ending,’ he has said. He has also suggested that the title has something to do with the band’s inner circle. To me, it evokes the theme of returning to a state of lost innocence that is central to ‘When We Were Beautiful’ (and is echoed in several other songs), and the fact that Bon Jovi has managed to have so much success, over such a long period of time, without changing very much. Most musical journeys are linear — the artist starts in one place, and ends up in a very different place. But this band’s path seems almost circular. Twenty-five years after its debut, it really hasn’t changed much.” [Jon Lustig, Newark Star-Ledger] • “Throughout it all, ‘Hell yeah!’ has replaced ‘Hee Haw.’ And as they say in New Jersey, that’s a good thing, capece?” [Wayne Parry, AP]