MR. BIG

"...The Stories We Could Tell" (Frontiers Music; 2014)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Mr. Big have been around a while and they are just now gracing the internet pages of Rough Edge. I think the fact that some of their other projects have taken a bit of the light from Mr. Big might be the case, but my petition might be denied on that assumption. Anyway, these guys have eight studio albums and two of them had Richie Kotzen on guitar. I guess if you're going to fill in for Paul Gilbert, Richie would be a great choice. This disc has the original line-up and from the first guitar lick and bass hammer-on you know that Mr. Big still have the same sound that got them noticed, especially when they plugged in and played with heavy hands. I only say that because their claim to fame is the soft single, "To Be With You."

I'm a fan of Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert beyond Mr. Big because they were involved in way heavier projects. This disc sounds dated and I know that Mr. Big were huge in the late 90s so I shouldn't expect more than they are willing to give. They do, however, lay down some wicked licks and at times I think Sheehan is "Vai'ing" it up (Steve Vai reference) a lot and Paul Gilbert has a chance to just rip his guitar in half with those signature runs he possesses. Such is the example on the track, "The Monster In Me." They still have that bluesy sound and soul provided by Eric Martin's voice so if you missed that sound then let Mr. Big re-introduce it to you.

Eric sings great on this disc. He's got a bit of rasp in the voice but he's always been a clean singer. Pat Torpey didn't not play drums on this disc but instead used a drum programmer because he has Parkinson's disease. Matt Starr will take over on the tour but Eric will join the band on the acoustic set.

Mr. Big: Eric Martin - lead vocals; Pat Torpey - drums, percussion, backing vocals; Billy Sheehan - bass, backing vocals; Paul Gilbert - guitar, backing vocals.

Follow Mr. Big here - http://www.mrbigsite.com/.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 15 Mar 2017 23:33:44 -0500.