December 01, 2003 12:00 PM

Bon Jovi

First they lost the big hair, now Bon Jovi goes unplugged on this album featuring acoustic-based reworkings of the band’s signature hits. Although the CD proves that Jon and company are more than ’80s pop-metal heads, anthems like “It’s My Life” and “Lay Your Hands on Me” just don’t feel right without all the arena-rock bombast. Abluesy twist on “You Give Love a Bad Name” has real rootsiness, though, while The Wonder Years actress Olivia d’Abo’s country-tinged vocals breathe new life into “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Even so, you’re better off getting a copy of the group’s 1994 hits disc, Cross Road, and hearing these songs the way they were meant to be heard.


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