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Full Throttle Rock

Album Review: Mr. Big - ...The Stories We Could Tell

Posted on October 6, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Mr. Big - … The Stories We Could Tell

Written by The Rock Man


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and rock fans of all ages - Mr. Big are back and they have returned in an electrifying way! In a recent interview guitarist Paul Gilbert said that Mr. Big albums were “big events”. Well I would have to agree. Their new studio album, and eighth over a 25 year career, …The Stories We Could Tell is certainly a big event.

The album kicks off with the bombastic Gotta Love The Ride. This sets the tone for the entire album with a big rhythm section provided by Billy Sheehan on bass and Pat Torpey on drums, big guitars from Paul Gilbert and big soulful vocals from Eric Martin. The follow up track is I Forget To Breathe which features a scorching solo from Gilbert and I have to say, his playing on this record is out of this world.

Fragile is a fine example of what Mr. Big do best; meaty chugging guitars during the verses which blend into super melodic catchy choruses The Man Who Has Everythinge is a heartfelt acoustic ballad. It is these types of songs that showcase Martin’s effortless cool vocal approach. Monster In Me is an energetic fun rocker which upon first listen reminded me a little of Undertow from the band’s previous album What If. It has a similar guitar riff and feel.

What If We Were New? features a big drum swing and again, burning solo from Gilbert. East/West is a really interesting song, it is mid-tempo in pace but also has ballad characteristics as well. The track has this underlying acoustic part but on top of that is this quite meaty electric guitar part adding some interesting textures and some nice playing from all members of the band.

That familiar driving bass sound of Sheehan that we have come to know and love over the years is on full display on The Light Of Day. The band roll out the standard big power ballad with Just Let Your Heart Decide, while towards the back end of the record we find Cinderella Smile and The Stories We Could Tell which again, like at the start of the record, tap into big rhythm sections, big guitars and big vocals. The album then comes to a close with a bonus live track, Addicted To That Rush.

Lyrically, as always the band explore the pros and cons of affairs of the heart, love and relationships, but from a musical stand point …The Stories We Could Tell displays a strong blues flavour throughout. Now I know these influences have always been a part of Mr. Big’s music in varying degrees, yet for some reason, at least to me, these blues flavours seem more predominant on this record.

Regardless, it is comforting to know that in this era of disposable dance and pop music that Mr.Big continues to remain relevant and continues to consistently deliver the type of music their fans have come to expect. …The Stories We Could Tell is testimony to what they are all about which is passionate, soulful, energetic, big time, arena hard rock.

Categories: Album Reviews

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