Cock-Rockers Hold Arena Circle-Jerk

Picture 6If you get a patriotic buzz from Budweiser commercials, you’ll love Bon Jovi’s The Circle.

The all-out gutsy battle cries from a hard-luck working-class hero — over a token arena-rock chorus — is all still here, frozen in time like a long-forgotten TV dinner. The hard edge of defiance Bon Jovi toyed with in high-school hit “It’s My Life” is gone, sacrificed in a vain attempt to make good on their pop-metal roots. Break out the chiseled jaws and disaffected stares, ’cause it’s time for dude to go hardscrabble like only a multimillionaire can.

First single “We Weren’t Born to Follow” has — surprise, surprise — Jon Bon Jovi singing about the perseverance of the blue-collars. (Because he’s one of them, of course). Additional props to good ole American boy Tico Torres, who plays a no-frills and no-talent drum pattern all through Circle. It’s a romp through middle America in all its bland glory, complete with “Live Before You Die” — a better-days power ballad — and brilliantly named “Fast Cars,” a tribute to fellow generation geniuses Coldplay.

Circle takes a much needed violent turn on the fifth track “Bullet.” Sure, the chorus is made of the same overblown Nickelback pomposity, but with the edgy frustration that made “It’s My Life” so appealing to the kiddes (choppy guitars, driving rhythm from Torres), it’s the first track we can rock out to without making sure no one’s looking.

Of course, it’s then back to perfect replicas of big-hair hits, but without any of the fun. Sure, when “Livin’ on a Prayer” comes on, everyone’s going to yell themselves hoarse through the chorus — but if Jon tries to crowd surf to the latest singles, he’s going to be eating a buttload of trampled water bottles.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal