http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/4899e98d27b5e0ffe433882b5df1617f0341bad6.jpg The Circle

Bon Jovi

The Circle

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November 11, 2009

Bon Jovi are billing their 11th album as a back-to-rock move, following on the heels of 2007's country-tinged Lost Highway, which featured duets with Music City stars. It does rock — if your idea of rock is Aerosmith doing Diane Warren songs. Predictable and immaculately produced, these arena-shakers offer a familiar brand of Jersey cheese, but where Jon Bon Jovi once was kind of quixotic ("Livin' on a Prayer"), he's more contemplative than ever, turning out meditations like "Live Before You Die" ("There'll come a day when you have to say hello to goodbye"). Ah, well, at least blue-collar anthems like "Work for the Working Man" mean well.

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