Jon Bon Jovi’s always been a nakedly craven opportunist, and I refuse to believe he’s approached the band’s career as anything other than a business plan. I think he realized that after five years away, Bon Jovi nostalgia would be high, and with rock radio mostly dead, he could afford to make what would have been a credibility-killing move in the ’80s — namely, hooking up with Max Martin for a lollipop of a leadoff single — and finally turn the band into what he’d always thought it should be: a tribe of musical mercenaries who didn’t have to feign allegiance to any particular genre, but could cop to whatever trend happened to be popular at the moment in an effort to stay on the charts, and do it without hurting sales enough to matter. Other bands had tried this before, but they’d all failed, possibly because they all still had credibility to squander; Bon Jovi made it work, because credibility had always been a meaningless abstract concept for them. Their music was never as important as how people responded to it — or to put it in more appropriately crass terms, how well it sold.
I don't even particularly like Crush (at least two of my least favourite Bon Jovi songs of all time are on that record), and I'm not denying Bon Jovi's commercialism for a second, but that was a blow low enough for me to feel it. :P And it's quite a revealing paragraph about the open-mindedness of our reviewer, methinks. ;)
Now how's this line: "If curing AIDS sold records, I’m pretty sure Bon Jovi would have done it by now. Sadly, curing AIDS doesn’t sell records. But pinching out tubes of boneless, easy-to-digest rock & roll does, and that’s why the band’s 11th studio album, The Circle, is coming out today" (review was posted November 10).
Ooh, burn! You can read the rest of the review here.