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"This Left Feels Right": 90/100 2 December 2003
Another TLFR review


The festive season is the favourite time for recordcompanies to release compilation Cds. Now that Bon Jovi is planning to take a break from recording new material, it would have made sense to release another Greatest Hits-cd. After all, their last compilation ‘Crossroads’ is almost a decade old and in the meantime the band released about a dozen hit-singles. But instead of doing the easy thing, the band decided to release ‘This Left Feels Right’, a collection of reworked old classics.

It seems quite ironic that it took the band this long to release a CD, keeping in mind the fact-history. In 1989, Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi wrote rock-history with their unforgettable acoustic performance at the Video Music Awards in New York. It was this very performance that inspired the officials at MTV tot kickstart the legendary MTV Unplugged series. That series lasted throughout the nineties and inspired artists such as Bob Dylan, Mariah Carey, Shakira, Kiss, Paul McCartney, Nirvana, Bryan Adams, Rod Steward and Midnight Oil to record classic CDs. The strength of the program was that it forced artists to do away with the amplified elements and instead focus on the basic emotion of the songs.

Come 2003, Bon Jovi finally delivers its unofficial contribution to the series. The new versions aren’t meant to replace the original songs, but to complement them. The result is surprising. The monster-hit ‘Its My Life’ for example has been turned into a piano-ballad with enormous chart potential. ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ has been altered tremendously by the Jon’s croaking vocals and Riches bluesy licks, making it sound more like a Tom Waits-esque experiment than the stadion-rocking song that originally is. The new version of ‘Born To Be My Baby’ is another interesting song: this second time around it’s a ballad, reminiscent of the material on Bryan Adams his unplugged cd (which is likely to be producer Pat Leonard’s influence, who is the link between the acoustic CDs of the Canadian rocker and the four boys from Jersey).


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