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Bon Jovi strives for uplift on new album, The Circle 8 November 2009
The Star-Ledger review

Source: The Star-Ledger

In the new coffeetable book “Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful” — released in conjunction with the Showtime-aired documentary of the same name — Bon Jovi frontman Jon Bon Jovi discusses his songwriting philosophy.

“The recurring theme of eternal optimism seems to be my niche,” he says. “I’m living there. I’m very, very comfortable in knowing that niche is mine.”

Sure enough, the band strives for uplift throughout its new album “The Circle,” which is due in stores on Nov. 10. The band’s last album, 2007’s “Lost Highway,” was a country-pop experiment, but this one is straightforward, meat-and-potatoes Bon Jovi rock: soaring anthems with pounding beats, big guitar riffs and lyrics that acknowledge life’s dark side but also suggest that any obstacle can be overcome.

Some rock music doesn’t come across well in huge venues, like the New Meadowlands Stadium, where Bon Jovi will perform May 26-27 and 29. But it’s almost hard to imagine these songs being played anywhere else (or without thousands of fist-pumping fans singing along).

The album’s opening song (and first single) “We Weren’t Born To Follow” sets the tone. “We weren’t born to follow, come on and get up off your knees,” sings Jon Bon Jovi, “When life is a bitter pill to swallow, you’ve got to hold on to what you believe.” He also praises “anyone who does it differently” in this song, though originality isn’t exactly one of his band’s strengths.


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