Despite their journey reaching bumpy ground from time to time with line-up changes and the musical climate surrounding them being in constant flux, Mr. Big have soldiered on regardless and are ready to unveil their 8th studio album. In 2011 they released What If… which was greeted with critical acclaim and presented the band with some new-found respect as tracks like Undertow, All the Way Up and American Beauty sealed the deal.
Everything from the tasty artwork to the abundance of quality songs are thankfully prominent with this latest release. This will make many top of the year lists thanks to each of the 13 tracks containing a mature and self-assured display of arrangement and song-writing. From start to finish it sounded and felt like a Mr. Big album which is testimony to the genuine input from each band member.
Eric Martin continues to excel with emotive tones and a voice that fits the band so well; Paul Gilbert remains solid in the guitar department; Billy Sheehan is as prolific with the bass as always and Pat Torpey remains behind the drum-kit providing suitable beats. It’s as a unit and a combined chemistry where the band have found their magic again and again with this new album showing no let up in their relentless quest to produce the best melodic rock music they can.
From the bluesy groove haunting the essence of Cinderella Smile, to the restrained driven opening track Gotta Love the Ride and the feisty The Light of Day, Mr. Big show off their wares for all to hear.
Notably they don’t revisit old commercial successes like To Be with You, but instead find fresh new ways to interpret their softer side. New songs like The Man Who Has Everything is tender and polished while Just Let Your Heart Decide sways to an accessible melody line without losing sight of the song that lives within.
Whatever creative pool they drink from, there must be a chorus with every slurp. There is no shortage of hooks, top performances and an overall solid presence with …The Stories We Could Tell. They are proudly waving the flag for melodic rock like no other band right now by somehow exceeding expectation and providing a heart and soul to all that they do.
Whether you’re thinking about Christmas already or are in search of a melodic rock album that will be satisfying for a long time, this album shines brightly with class.