Bon Jovi's latest CD entitled This Left Feels Right seems to beg the question why mess with perfection? The CD is the release of their greatest hits with a new twist.Co-produced with Pat Leonard (Madonna, Rod Stewart, Elton John) they began the process of choosing which of many hits the team would rework. After a thorough listen of the songs they selected the music did seem to grow on me. At first I was resistant to the new arrangements of my favorite hits, but now I am a believer. It's very difficult to digest the way the songs have been revived and reinvented, but after awhile it's like new wind has been breathed into them.
"We went into the studio thinking we were making an acoustic record," says Jon Bon Jovi. "We had a definite idea of the record we were going to make. But once we began experimenting with the songs and trying out new ideas we created a very different, unique album. We made a complete left turn and took the project down a different road."
Bon Jovi has 100 million records sold worldwide and more than 2200 concerts in 47 countries before 32 million fans. They were one of the top grossing concert tours of 2003 and three sold out tours in three years. Often they have been labeled as corporate rock sellouts. This new CD is nothing like anything I've heard from Bon Jovi ever before. They use string arrangements and even get bluesy on "You Give Love a Bad Name," sounding very much like the Stray Cats sound of the '80s.
The first track "Wanted Dead or Alive" starts off with an acoustic guitar version of the hit single with an echo effect on Bon Jovi's vocal track. The tune has cool harmonies and the rearranged version takes a little while to consume. It's My Life," is a stand out track with a nice variation of the keyboard and the synthesizer. It seems a little sappy, but the inclusion of a live string section fills out the song. The tune is a beautiful power ballad that takes on new life on the disc. As I listened onto the disc the music seem to get better. "Bed of Roses," an absolutely beautiful power ballad rendition of this super hit. Probably one of the best cuts on the disc. The song has sweet sentiment and nice sounding keyboards. "Everyday," has a better sounding arrangement then the first rendition. Sambora and Bon Jovi have great harmonies and this track is also one of the stronger points on the CD. "I am having the most fun I've ever had working on this album," elates Richie Sambora. "I'm so excited - I literally cannot wait to get into the studio everyday and get to work." However, "Born to Be My Baby," didn't fair out as well. I think that they destroyed the song. It felt like it was ransacked and I had a hard time listening to it all the way through.
Overall, Bon Jovi was able to capture a completely different sounding CD with these new arrangements, but I fear it might scare off long time loyal fans. The fans get used to hearing our favorite tunes in the pristine sounding condition and don't have time to digest the new remakes of old favorites. We want a greatest hits album that is truly the greatest hits recorded in the manner they were first written and recorded. This Left Feels Right is a good concept, but bad execution. I fear that long standing fans may stray away from this new disc, but I wish them the best of luck and I'm looking forward to a new album.
Susan Salva is a Staff Writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.