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Old 09-07-2009, 07:03 PM
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Supersonic Supersonic is offline
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Default The Circle - Review. A real one.

Aloha !

So, my fellow Jovitalkers. I’ve heard the album. And I like it. How did I get it? Well, here’s the story.

This weekend a package was delivered at the house where now 3 of my Polish colleagues live. It was send to that address probably because that’s the only address you can find of me online, and contained a letter.

“Hi Sebastiaan,
I hope this is send to the right address, this is all I could find of you. Here’s a present, I hope you like it. This is for all the work you’ve done on your forum and website. I prefer to stay anonymous because if this leaks it could cost me my job, hence it being on tape instead of CD. You probably understand what I’m thinking now, so go enjoy it. I’ll get to read of what you think of it sooner or later, just promise me you won’t rip it to MP3.
Mr X (sorry couldn’t think of anything better)”

That’s all it said. It was handwritten, and the package contained a cassette tape. I had to reconnect my old cassettedeck to my receiver in order to be able to listen to it. I have got no titles, no liner notes, I’ve only heard the music. At first I thought it was a prank so I’ve called Thierry and let him listen to it. By now several other users on Jovitalk have heard a few songs from it under the condition that they wouldn’t record the call and wouldn’t talk about it. By now I’ve played the tape about 50 times now, because I enjoy it a lot. It’s The Circle, and here’s a review.

1. A rocker in the veign of Hey God meets Tokyo Road or Taking It Back. The song doesn’t have a proper guitar solo but merely some fancy licks here and there and a killer riff. I think they’ll open the shows with this song, it kicks ass and is very uptempo. You can compare it to Sexy Little Thing from Chickenfoot if you want to.
2. We Weren’t Born To Follow. I honestly don’t understand why they released this as the first single because track 1 is so much better. There is a guitar solo though, not a really good one, but a bit like the guitar solo for Have A Nice Day. Nothing special, and most has been said aobut this song.
3. Another rocker, just as fast as the first track, and just as good. The odd thing about this song is that there’s a guitar solo before the first verse, as if the band were jamming before the song actually started. It sort of is like the verses of Last Cigarette without the vocals but with a guitar jam instead. I think I’m hearing 2 guitars but I’m not sure. It could be Richie dubbing his other guitar solo.
4. Another rocker, not a ballad as track 3, but a rock song. It’s not a fast one like the previous two but it’s still faster than songs like Something For The Pain and Say It Isn’t So, for example. This one has the standard verse, verse, chorus, verse chorus, bridge, chorus structure they tend to do all the time, and the lyrics are a bit odd. It’s a song about Philadelphia I think. It’s not mentioning the city, but talks about building houses and how the boss sang about those streets. Hmmm.
5. The first ballad, and to be honest; it’s wank. It’s worse than All About Loving You, and this sounds like the song they had to put on there, because it doesn’t fit at all. Lame vocals, cheesy lyrics about looking in the eyes and seeing gardens of love. I’m not saying that lyrics like that are wrong per se, but it doesn’t work at all in this song. The guitar solo in the end makes it better though. It’s a bit like Til We Ain’t Strangers but slightly worse. I really think that Bon Jovi should give up writing ballds because they’ve lost their touch when it comes to those songs.
6. A song driven by an acoustic guitar. It starts of on an acoustic guitar (a bit like The Fire Inside) but on the second verse there’s an electric guitar doing improvs, the drums build up and when it hits the chorus the song is on full steam. It rocks, but lacks something, though the tape cuts off the ending of the song, so I've got no idea what I'm missing, and if I'm actually missing anything.
7. Work For The Working Man. Brilliant song. Brilliant, brilliant brilliant. It’s like a steam strain thundering through your speakers. Welcome To The Good Times meets Last Man Standing meets Any Other Day. There’s an immense guitar solo in the middle of the song, followed by some organ solo while the acoustic guitar comes up, and the song then kicks back to “who’s gonna…” This really is the highlight of the album so far, and this will be a stomper live.
8. The obvious Elton John meets Bob Dylan song. This is the song for Jon, it’s piano driven and will be the song that shows up on the first 20 shows, will be used as a pee break by American audiences and will be gone by the time the band starts playing Europe. The song is about findy mercy in someone’s soul or something. It’s not really a bad song, but easily forgotten.
9. Right now the album loses a bit of it’s power. This is an acoustic song in the veign of I Love This Town, Capt. Crash and Who Says. This is the typical Bon Jovi post 2000 stuff. On the bright side, there’s a harmonica solo on it. Not that it’s any good, but that’s all there is really, so I think we can expect Jon to play the harmonica again. And if he plays it on this song, then maybe he’ll start playing it on These Days again as well?
10. A song in the veign of Just Older, Story Of My Life etcetera. This is the song for Jon to slow things down and starting to chat to the audience etcetera. There’s the typical “I’ll sing the chorus very quiet in this part of the song so I can make it intimate” thing, and the guitar solo isn’t anything special.
11. Saving the best for last. This is another one of those songs that rock like a mother****er. This is classic 80s Bon Jovi stuff. This is the song of which no one thought they’d ever write it ever again. It’s Homebound Train / Raise Your Hands like but in drop D, and contains lots of oooh’s and yeaah’s. It’s got a guitar solo that finally shows that Richie still knows how to rip through the songs like he did in the eighties. Lots of tabbing, bends and whatever he could come up with. I swear this is recorded on a Kramer, but who knows?
12. When We Were Beautiful. A filler track. It’s different compared to the leaked version out there, but it’s still not quality. I honestly don’t understand why they put this on the album. The lyrics are bad, and it doesn’t work as a last song.

After listening to the cassette for so many times I tend to believe that the order of songs is wrong because there’s no proper flow at all. Overall this is the best Bon Jovi album of the past 10 years though. It’s got the best of pretty much everything. There’s still some songs on it that shouldn’t have made the record, but you can’t have it all, can you?

Salaam Aleikum,

Last edited by Supersonic; 09-07-2009 at 07:05 PM..
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