Painful pop culture realisations: The final series of 'The Wire' was the weakest; 'Gran Torino's lack of Oscars isn't going to get any easier to take; Bon Jovi may never come up with anything as great as 'Livin' on a Prayer' or 'Wanted Dead or Alive' again.

Does 'The Circle' even come close to those 80s glories? No, but at least messrs Bon Jovi, Sambora, Bryan and Torres are not making a show of themselves in middle age - they just need to think a bit younger.

The biggest problem here is that the quartet don't play to their strengths enough. There's an over-reliance on safe dad rock (don't get too fast or have too much of an edge) and guitarist Sambora isn't let off the leash to let rip more often.

'Work of the Working Man' and 'Bullet' are two of the standouts, but that's because they reference 'Livin' on a Prayer' and 'Keep the Faith' respecitively. And while Bon Jovi's voice is ageing well - as exemplified by 'Brokenpromiseland' and 'Love's the Only Rule' - the gripe that Sambora doesn't get more time on the mic still remains.

There's life in them yet; bringing the story full circle could give them their best songs in a long time.

Harry Guerin