The String Quartet Tribute to Bon Jovi: Count Me In runs through 12 of Bon Jovi's most memorable hits, spanning their career in the process. Unfortunately, the album never rises above the relative novelty of hearing pop songs performed instrumentally by violin, viola, cello, and bass. This isn't Bon Jovi's fault; in fact, it's a testament to the band's strength as songwriters that the material's structure never wavers from the original melodies and pacing, even when the histrionic guitar solos, soaring vocals, and voluminous amounts of hair spray are removed from the equation. But as solid as Bon Jovi's songs are, "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "Bad Medicine" don't fare well in chamber arrangements. Ballads like "Always" and "Bed of Roses" are predictably pretty, but ultimately unrewarding, while the string quartet's approximation of "Living on a Prayer"'s signature talk-box sound is just goofy. It's a low point for a tribute album that might appeal to hardcore Bon Jovi fans, but even then will likely not break out of novelty to become a tribute album that rewards on its own merits.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus