Monday, September 29, 2014

MR BIG: "The Stories We Could Tell"

Rating: RR
Label: Frontiers 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

I'm the massive fan of the vocals by Eric Martin. One of those fine singers that send shivers down the spine with excellent performances on every single album that he's ever recorded. Dude's got Soul as well as the Blues running through his veins and it's always a pleasure to hear him sing. Mr Big on the other hand has always been the hit(s) and miss(es) kind of band in my opinion.

Why, you say? Well. The soft and slow/mid-tempo songs are always so-o-o much better than the rockers and it's sometimes like if they're not even trying to come up with as great uptempo tunes? It's weird since they have the superb guitarist in Paul Gilbert, amazing bass-player in Billy Sheehan, kick-azz drummer (Pat Torpey) and it's not like I'm against groove or simply grooving along to melodies. It's just that I expect better uptempo songs from these guys than for example, "Satisfied", "The Monster In Me", "What If We Were New" or "The Light Of Day". They are boring, standard blues compositions that are going no-where really (if you want killer 70's uptempo groove from Frontiers this year - try California Breed).

Opener "Gotta Love The Ride" is a fun uptempo tune and "I Forget To Breathe" is the great old school blues with a special nod to the late sixties/early seventies and the hint of Hendrix. "It's Always About That Girl", excellent big rock too. However, it's (as always) the softies, "Fragile", "The Man Who Has Everything", "East/West", and the simply amazing "Just Let Your Heart Decide" that saves this from being the complete bore. And no, I don't want them to become Michael Bolton or something. I just wish the uptempo tracks would match the quality of the softies.

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