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CD REVIEW: MR. BIG – …The Stories We Could Tell

| 2 October 2014 | Reply


Label: Frontiers Music SRL

Release Date: September 30, 2014

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Some bands have success, break up, and move on with different members.  After making the same move, Mr. Big have regrouped with their classic lineup and recorded all new material that sounds as fresh and exciting as their music did back in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s.  “Gotta Love The Ride” kicks the disc off with a solid intro that soon morphs into a killer track that features that familiar voice with soaring guitar riffs and a heavy rhythm section.  “I Forgot To Breathe” follows and gives bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Pat Torpey room to shine as they anchor this heavier track.  “Satisfied” is bump and grind music that gets the foot tapping and the head banging.  The guitar riffs in this song duet nicely against Eric Martin’s voice, especially the chugging parts during the verse.  “The Monster In Me” reminds me of “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)” from the bands 1991 classic Lean Into It.  The opening is eclectic, while the chorus and verse are tribal in nature and features soaring guitar solos.  “Eastwest” slows things down and features a cool rock vibe that carries from the beginning, despite the acoustic guitar sound.  The playing from Gilbert on this track shines whether unplugged or plugged in.  “Just Let Your Heart Decide” is another ballad that allows Martin to use his voice to tell the story not only with words, but with the emotion fans have come to know and love.  The title track, “The Stories We Could Tell” closes the disc with a different feel than most of the other tracks.  This veers slightly from the normal Mr. Big sound, but also fits within the spectrum of their catalog and this collection.

“Fragile” opens with a funky groove that is bass heavy, but also gives Paul Gilbert room to throw some killer riffs on top while vocalist Martin does what he does best, especially during the chorus.  Slowing into ballad mode, “The Man Who Has Everything” is a great track that mixes the lead vocals and an acoustic guitar nicely through the verse, while the drums and bass slip in quietly during the chorus.  “What If We Were New” is a cool bluesy number that gives the band room to run underneath the vocals.  The bass is funky and compliments the solid drumming.  This track marries the different sounds and grooves that have become the mark of this band.  “The Light Of Day” is a straight ahead rocker that prominently features the solid skin pounding of Torpey in the background, but front in the mix.  The vocals give the song a bite through the chorus, but the use of guitars and bass during the bridge complete this track.  “It’s Always About That Girl” is another funk-groove driven track that gives the bass and drums the lead, while the vocals and guitars support and take this song to another place, giving the disc another texture, while embracing the Mr. Big feel.  “Cinderella Smile” keeps the groove laden tracks coming, while mixing up the vocals a bit.  This features one of the best and coolest Sheehan bass lines on the disc, and if you listen carefully you even hear his pings and squeals buried in the mix.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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