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The Circle (Deluxe Edition) - Bon Jovi

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Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Hard Rock / Artist: Bon Jovi / Audio CD released 2009-11-02 at Mercury

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    8 Reviews
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      30.03.2010 23:17
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      Buy it!

      There are not many bands or artists that ever reach their 11th studio album. Likewise, few ever last 25+ years in the business.. and even fewer can still manage to sell out stadiums worldwide after all of that. Bon Jovi are one such band, still going strong and still producing fantastic albums like this one - The Circle. The first track & lead single (We Weren't Born To Follow) is an excellent introduction to the album as whole with a catchy sing a long chorus and great riffs. To keep you on your toes, the pace immiediately slows with the very next song. When We Were Beautiful is is powerful number which gradually builds. This song also provides the title to the book of the same name & the excellent dvd documentary which is included with the "deluxe" version of the album. The musical pace soon picks up again with the next 2 tracks - Work For The Working Man & Superman Tonight - excellent up temp rockers. Bullet is easily the heaviest track on the album on the album - but that is no bad thing & proves Bon Jovi can rock out hard if they want to. The 2 other stand out tracks for me are Brokenpromiseland & Loves The Only Rule - the latter is almost pop-rock, but works brilliantly - I rekcon it could turn out to be real live favourite when they arrive for their O2 residency in the summer. Another great album from one of the most successful and long lasting bands in the world. It might not win over any new fans, but it well worth checking out.

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      24.02.2010 12:34
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      Hardcore fans may like it, but this hardcore fan didnt...

      I am a huge Bon Jovi fan and was eagerly anticipating this album as I had been very disappointed in their previous album Lost Highway (with the exception of the title track which was a reasonably good song).

      The Circle is their 11th studio album and claims to be their return to what they know best, good old fashioned rock and roll...unfortunately I beg to differ.

      The first single from the album, "We Weren't Born To Follow" was a reasonable attempt at this comeback, however every time I listened to it, it strongly reminded me of their 1990 hit Born to Be My Baby. It sounded like a band running out of ideas to me and upon listening to the rest of the album, my suspicions were confirmed.

      For a band that was so well travelled and mature, I expected a more gritty experience coinciding with their usual melodic and anthemic pop rock. However what I heard was a tired version of the band I once idolised.

      They do try to emulate their commitment to the blue collar worker in "Working for the Working Man" combining the guitar riffs and talk box featured on Living on a Prayer. Ballads "Live Before You Die" and "Love is the Only Rule" don't seem to deliver. There seems to be either something lacking or they are simply holding back for some reason.

      Despite the disappointment in the quality of the song, Bon Jovi, as usual, deliver a well produced, good sounding album. Its just a pity it doesn't meet the standards of previous studio albums. I wasn't looking for the same outstanding quality of New Jersey, but something similar to Crush would have been nice.

      I would normally say, this is one for the fans, but even an avid fan like myself is disappointed in this. In the past I have had to listen to their albums a few times to fully appreciate it but I'm finding it difficult with this one. Lets hope they take a break and come back with a belter in a few years!

      Track List:

      1. We Weren't Born To Follow
      2. When We Were Beautiful
      3. Work For The Working Man
      4. Superman Tonight
      5. Bullet
      6. Thorn In My Side
      7. Live Before You Die
      8. Brokenpromiseland
      9. Love's The Only Rule
      10. Fast Cars
      11. Happy Now
      12. Learn To Love

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        08.02.2010 00:32
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        Not Recommended

        I'm just gobsmacked to see all the five star reviews on here for this album! There's a reason that most stores are now selling this for only £5.99 - and it's a rip-off at even that price.

        Bon Jovi have basically created this album by reworking riffs and melodies that they've used on previous albums. It particularly strikes me as being very reminiscent of their album Crush. I don't think there is a single original song on here!

        It gets going with 'We Weren't Born to Follow' which is a bit like their previous hits 'Saturday Night' and 'It's My Life' and to be honest, any other 'we're rebels without causes' songs they've ever written. Sure it's perfectly pleasant to listen to, but the message their singing about would sound considerably more appropriate if it were being sung by rockers half their age (or less).

        'Work for the Working Man' is just laughable. Why on earth are multi-millionaires singing about being Joe Bloggs having a hard slog on the local building site? Again, it's a perfectly acceptable song, with a smooth little melody and quaint little guitar riffs here and there. But the message behind the song is irrirating and patronising.

        I won't go on, there is nothing of note at all anywhere on this album. The songs sound extremely similar to lots of songs that Bon Jovi have previously released, and I feel they're being extremely lazy and money-grabbing in putting out such a poor effort with this album. I can't help but wonder if they're just hoping that the next generation won't know their music well enough to realise just how lazy they've been here.

        In my honest opinion, Bon Jovi have had their day. They rocked hard back in 80s, but in the year 2010 they're just out of date, patronising rich men who should have grown up about two decades ago.

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        31.12.2009 20:49

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        great for fans old and new

        As a huge Bon Jovi fan I could not wait for this album to come out. It has been two years since we rode the lost highway and the boys are back with tracks that have gone back to their rock roots. The first single " we weren't born to follow" is most definitly a modern day anthem that sings out to all people. It is a song you can rock out to while the lyrics that scream out and tell you to be origional. "when we were beautiful" starts off slow, but ends with a rocky sing-a-long feel. The accoustic feel to the start of the song sounds almost like a lullaby, then it builds up to a look back at years gone by that makes you feel good. A great album for fans old and new. You will rock out and chill all in the same album, songs for all moods. A great buy.

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        30.12.2009 17:51
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        Well-tread perhaps but great to listen to!

        I wasn't especially fond of Bon Jovi's last album, Lost Highway; it was a bit too country-based for my liking, but they come back to glorious form here with The Circle. From the singles to the leaked tracks online, my expectations were considerably raised after hearing them, and so I had to go out and grab this album, which is quite arguably the best thing they've done in about 15 years.

        Bon Jovi do admittedly have a formula to their song rotation, but it works: We Weren't Born to Follow shares a lot of similarities with the emancipatory It's My Life, while When We Were Beautiful is an inspirational, spiritual track very much like Keep the Faith. It's a formula, but it works, and as such, why try and change it up as long as the standard remains consistent? Superman Tonight exemplifies how they can craft a ballad without seeming trite or banal; despite its clunky title it sees Bon Jovi searching his soul for something true. On the other hand, the fifth song, Bullet however, is probably the one song that stands away from the rest; it still has poppy sensibilties for sure, but it a lot heavier and allows Richie Sambora to wail away on the guitar unrestrained.

        Although they've never written a bad record, they have coasted a long a bit recently and have tried some new things that I wasn't OVERLY fond of. The Circle, though, poignantly sees things come full circle, returning them to the roots that made them so famous and giving fans a plethora of new, catchy, resonant tunes to rock out to! Given how homogenous the genre can get, this is pleasantly refreshing.

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        01.12.2009 18:57
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        Best Bon Jovi album in 10 years

        After playing a nearly 100 date tour in support of 2007's Lost Highway album Bon Jovi had planned to take some time off for a well deserved rest. There was to be a greatest hits album and a live DVD but no new album from the guys. However when Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora got together to record a couple of new songs for the greatest hits record they found that the world's current economic and political climate inspired them to write enough songs for an entire album and so The Circle was born.

        Prior to its release Bon Jovi described The Circle as "uplifting" and a "big rock n roll record" after the country influences of Lost Highway and it certainly doesn't disappoint on either score. The sound is typical Bon Jovi - big rousing choruses, catchy melodies and some fabulous riffs and solos from Sambora but with a slightly modern twist.

        First single We Weren't Born To Follow gets the album off to a great start - it has an instantly catchy hook that leaves me humming it all day. The lyrics follow familiar themes - facing adversity and bouncing back. It reached number 25 in the UK top 40 - the band's highest since Welcome to Wherever You Are from the Have A Nice Day album.

        When We Were Beautiful was one of the songs originally intended for inclusion on the Greatest Hits record. It is an amazing song - beautifully understated with poignant lyrics "the world is cracked, the sky is torn/ so much less meant so much more". I expect when this is performed live on tour next year that you will be able to hear a pin drop no matter how big the stadium.
        Work For The Working Man has a bass line reminiscent of 80's hit Livin' On A Prayer, having heard an acoustic version of this song before the album was released I wasn't hugely impressed but the album version is a big improvement. Some critics have questioned the sincerity of the lyrics as the band are now multi millionaires but I do believe that Jon remembers his roots and that is what he is reflecting in this song.
        Superman Tonight doesn't sound like the title of a love song but that's exactly what this is. With a great guitar solo and amazing drumming it fits with the rock and roll vibe of the record with simple lyrics about unrequited love.

        Bon Jovi are certainly an album band - they don't neglect the tracks that are never likely to be singles and so the middle of this album is just as strong as the opening. Bullet is a commentary on increasing inner city violence and war around the world and features a great guitar riff. Thorn In My Side is one of the faster paced tracks on the album, Jon's vocals sound great and there is another fabulous Richie solo. Unfortunately there is a low point in Live Before You Die which is my least favourite song on the album, it tells the story of a young boy growing up and meeting the love of his life. Sticking to a signature sound is one thing but this song offers nothing that hasn't been covered to a better standard on previous albums.
        Brokenpromiseland though is a triumph and one of the best songs on the album - it has a rich full sound showing off the talents of the whole band. The verses are slower and softer and it then builds up to a rousing chorus. Generally Love's The Only Rule is as good as the rest of the album - a stadium ready anthem but I do cringe every time I hear the line "wouldn't it be cool, if love's the only rule"
        Fast Cars brings the pace back down again with a beautiful melody and Happy Now showcases Jon's songwriting with some great lyrics before the album closes very strongly with Learn to Love which has an understated beginning and builds up to a crescendo in the chorus and a positive look to the future.

        For me this is the best Bon Jovi album in 10 years and I haven't stopped listening to it since it was released a month ago!

        The deluxe version of this album includes the When We Were Beautiful documentary on DVD. Filmed at the end of the Lost Highway tour in 2007 it follows the band as they play their final shows in Europe and prepare for 2 nights at Madison Square Garden and a free show in Central Park. There are interviews with each band member though the focus is mainly on Jon and live footage from the featured concerts. The documentary is very interesting if you are an avid fan but for the more casual listener it's probably not worth the extra cost.
        The Circle is currently available to download on iTunes or the physical CD is available from Amazon, Play and other retailers. The standard version is £8.45 on Play and the deluxe is £12.99

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          03.11.2009 18:40
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          The Bon Jovi album the fans have been hoping for.

          For those of you who don't already know I am a huge Bon Jovi fan, so I have been counting down the days to the release of their latest studio album 'The Circle'.

          At the end of their world tour last year, the idea had been for the band to take a well earned rest, and there was talk of them releasing a greatest hits album this year.
          However, feeling inspired by the economic crisis amongst other things, Jon Bon Jovi got together with guitarist and co-writer Richie Sambora and came up with around 28 new songs. They decided on a new studio album, the greatest hits album was shelved, and they began to work on the album which was definitely going to be a return to 'rock', following their Nashville inspired album 'Lost Highway' in 2007, which had seen the band exploring a country sound to their music.

          The band :-

          Jon BonJovi - lead vocals
          Richie Sambora - guitars, backing vocals
          Tico Torres - drums and percussion
          David Bryan - keyboards
          Hugh McDonald - bass

          To record The Circle, Bon Jovi reunited with producer-songwriter John Shanks, who the band worked with on Have A Nice Day and half of Lost Highway. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora co-produced the album. The result, in my opinion, is probably the best album they have produced since 'Keep The Faith', in that I love every track and am currently listening to it over and over!

          The tracks :

          1. We Weren't Born To Follow
          2. When We Were Beautiful
          3. Work For The Working Man
          4. Superman Tonight
          5. Bullet
          6. Thorn In My Side
          7. Live Before You Die
          8. Brokenpromiseland
          9. Love's The Only Rule
          10. Fast Cars
          11. Happy Now
          12. Learn To Love

          Richie Sambora admits he can't remember all the guitars he used on the new album, but a few come to mind, as he said in a recent interview : "I got a '58 Explorer which sounds excellent. Then I also used a Duesenberg, a Les Paul Jr with P-90s, a '59 and a '68 Les Paul. Plus, there were a couple of my old Teles and some of John Shanks's Strats. All good stuff."
          The guitars are definitely more prominent on this album and it's great to hear Richie on this album back to doing what he does best - playing some amazing guitar riffs, as anyone who has seen the band live can surely testify he is a brilliant guitarist!
          Apparently the guitar solo on the band's first single release 'We Weren't Born To Follow' was originally a melodic 'Beatles-esque' guitar break, but as the track was leaked out some fans were emailing saying although they loved the song they would have preferred a 'rippin, burnin, Sambora solo' and so Richie duly changed it to give the fans what they wanted.
          "Ask and you shall receive" he stated.

          'We Weren't Born To Follow' kicks off the album and is a typical Bon Jovi classic, written about working people picking themselves up in hard times and no doubt will be up there with 'It's My Life'. It is guaranteed to be a great crowd pleaser on the forthcoming tour. It does remind me a little of an early Bon Jovi song 'Born To Be My Baby', a strong track with a catchy chorus.

          The anthemic 'When We Were Beautiful' is one of the standout tracks for me. A tale of how the world once was, and inspired by the world events and economic crisis, this track builds slowly from its quiet beginning, with Jon's vocal and a guitar, then comes the crashing drums, as the guitar becomes louder, and the song slowly builds to a great anthem with its pleasing guitar riffs and meaningful lyrics :- "Back when we were beautiful, before the world got small, before we knew it all..."

          Work For The Working Man begins with an intro a little reminiscent of the band's early single 'Living On A Prayer', but after this the comparison ends, and this is another hard hitting strong track which I imagine will have the fans punching the air and shouting out the lyrics when performed on tour.

          There are no slower 'Bed of Roses' or 'Always'- type tracks on this album, with the brilliant 'Superman Tonight' and 'Live Before You Die' the closest thing you are going to get to a 'quieter moment' on the album, but with 'Superman Tonight' especially there is still plenty of loud guitar and drums.

          The hard-hitting 'Bullet' features some great guitar breaks from Richie as Jon asks "What is the distance between a bullet and a gun, God are you listening or have you just given up?"

          Brokenpromiseland has a unique sound, and I have found it has quickly became one of my favourites, although I have to say there are absolutely no weak tracks on this album for me. I love them all. It features some slightly different sounds which I heard someone describe as reminiscent of U2 or Coldplay. I can see why this would be said, but it is only a slight similarity in places I feel, and I really love the track. It has a haunting intro that leads into the harder sounding verses, with a catchy riff playing throughout.

          Thorn In My Side features another great guitar break, and along with another of my favourites, 'Love's The Only Rule' provides two fast-paced strong tracks.
          The album slows down a little for the start of 'Fast Cars' which picks up again by the time it reaches the chorus. 'Happy Now' features more great sounding guitar as Jon sings "Can I be happy now, can I let my breath out, let me believe I'm building a dream, don't try to drag me down".
          The final track 'Learn To Love' is another track which builds throughout from its softer start, and is a great ending to the album.

          The Deluxe edition of the album also comes with a documentary DVD, which features live footage and a personal insight into the life of the band over the last 25 years, the pressures and the highs and lows.

          The Circle is the album which sees Bon Jovi firing on all cylinders again following personal upsets for some of the band in recent years, as divorce and family bereavement took its toll on Richie Sambora in particular. As one of the world's greatest guitarists it is great to see him back to his best again, and this album showcases his talent.
          The superb tracks are matched with excellent production. Overall, it is a brilliant 'rock' album with plenty of loud guitar and drums that the fans have been hoping for.
          We asked, and we have received!

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            01.11.2009 16:43

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            Essential Bon Jovi

            After the carefree Have a Nice Day and the Country inspired Lost Highway, Bon Jovi return to the fold with The Circle; an album which combines the best of the previous two to create a fantastic set of tracks which have everything one could expect of a Bon Jovi record.

            When We Were Beautiful is a beautifully subtle track, and while it isn't a typical Bon Jovi ballad its cutting edge is perhaps typical of the rest of the album - something which has perhaps been missing from the previous two records. The album really is what you decide to make of it; for one I thoroughly enjoyed The Circle and hope it can reignite Bon Jovi in the future years to come.

            Bear in mind there is also a deluxe CD & DVD version available for purchase which is well worth the additional money - superb presentation and additional content!

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