First of all, hats off to Bon Jovi for trying something different with This Left Feels Right
--a selective collection of their most popular songs with a twist. That twist isn't a purely acoustic reworking, MTV unplugged style--anybody looking for that experience will be sorely disappointed by what's on offer. What Bon Jovi have done is re-record these songs in a completely different way while maintaining the original lyrics, melody and song structure. What's different then? Well, quite a bit actually. Check out the almost trip-hop beat and distorted vocal of "Wanted Dead or Alive", or the lazy soul of "Livin' on a Prayer". "It's My Life" is a beautiful piano-only standout, almost worth having the whole album for.
The tracklisting isn't perfect, concentrating largely on their 1980s period (there's nothing from These Days, for instance). As such, the venture works as an effective cheese-extraction exercise, keeping the elements that made the originals so great, but removing shouty, hairspray-fuelled "whoa-yeahs". What we get is something that is closer to Jon Bon Jovi's last solo offering--the criminally underrated Destination Anyway. It doesn't always work ("Bed of Roses" just sounds like a warbling cover of the powerful original and by the time they reach "Always" it's obvious they've run out of new twists), and no doubt there will be legions of bemulleted faithfuls who will denounce this as blasphemy of the highest order. Sure, it's probably just record-company filler, but it's a worthwhile investment and you won't be embarrassed to have it on when your mates come round. --Cortman Virtue