Release Date: Nov 10, 2009
Record label: Island
Bon Jovi returns with a series of near-identical fist-pumpers whose choruses are perfectly calibrated for beer commercials and NFL broadcasts. The bass line from ”Livin’ on a Prayer” anchors obligatory recession ode ”Work for the Working Man,” which doesn’t make its sentiment seem any more genuine. Elsewhere, there are concerns about living until they die, not giving a damn, etc.
One thing buried amidst all Bon Jovi's detours of the new millennium -- there wasn't just 2007's contemporary country Lost Highway, there was the acoustic reworking of hits This Left Feels Right in 2003 -- is that the group has been sober-minded throughout the decade, reacting to 9/11 on 2002's Bounce, exploring the morass of W's America on 2005's Have a Nice Day, and now creating a soundtrack for the Great Recession on 2009's The Circle. Subtlety has never been a concern for Bon Jovi, so the group makes it plain that they will be the ones to "Work for the Working Man," while they wonder "who's gonna bail out all our shattered dreams" on "Brokenpromiseland. " Explicit references to the broken state of blue collar America pile up throughout The Circle, but instead of setting these wannabe working man anthems to the kind of Springsteen-esque rock that's their trademark, Bon Jovi, with the assistance of producer John Shanks, have decided to make their own version of a U2 album, apparently because no other sound sounds as serious as U2.
BON JOVI“The Circle”(Island) The repurposed “Livin’ on a Prayer” bass line on “Work for the Working Man,” from Bon Jovi’s 11th studio album, “The Circle,” is no casual rehash. In 1986 “Livin’ on a Prayer” marked Bon Jovi as a band that grappled with meaning, or at least ….