October 3, 2014 Mr. Big – …The Stories We Could Tell (Album Review)
Los Angeles, CA based Mr. Big enjoyed success from their beginnings in 1988 through 2002, when they played a farewell tour and parted ways. Fast-forward to 2009, Mr. Big re-united to much acclaim followed by the 2011 album What If…, tours, and live recordings. Bassist Billy Sheehan, lead vocalist Eric Martin, drummer Pat Torpey and guitarist Paul Gilbert now in 2014 offer up their second studio album since their re-birth titled …The Stories We Could Tell. Joining forces with veteran producer Pat Regan the record was released September 23rd via Frontier Records and is set to be followed by a world tour.
“Gotta Love the Ride” sums up the band’s philosophy on life; enjoy the journey do not focus on the destination, which they certainly are doing being a band a second time around, and these days they appreciate it a lot more than when they were younger. The next track “I Forget to Breathe” is a celebration of being on stage and “Fragile” is about being scared of risking things again. They take a slightly tongue-in-cheek approach on “Satisfied” bragging sexual innuendo and it is very catchy and light-hearted having a ‘crowd-pleaser’ stamped through the middle of it. Bitter-sweet and romantic, “The Man who has Everything” is their updated ‘To Be With You’, while “The Monster in Me” is funky and fun. “What if we Were New” has a dirtier vocal sound from Martin, while “Eastwest” is a classic ballad, soft and sentimental, with luscious guitar solos from Gilbert, though it is the incessant drum beat that characterizes “The Light of Day”, this will have fans dancing in the aisles at shows. The ballad “Just Let Your Heart Decide” is perfect for getting out the lighters and swaying to the beat, “It’s Always About That Girl” has a funky riff and delightful play of the cymbals by Torpey. The song “Cinderella Smile” is about the lure of modelling and has single written all over it, and last but not least the title track “The Stories We Could Tell” mocking the rumor mill that surrounds bands and people in the public eye.
There are no real surprises on …The Stories We Could Tell and it does not break new ground but it is expertly performed and well produced. Fans of Mr. Big know what to expect each time they put together new music and that is hard rocking tunes with slick bass and sumptuous harmonies. Martin is still a phenomenal vocalist and Mr. Big certainly deliver on their promise, with this album. They know what their fans love about them and they give it to them, simple as that. What this solid album is however, is a perfect device for Mr. Big to play some crowd-pleasing, fantastic live shows, and they are all about playing live. CrypticRock give …The Stories We Could Tell 4 out of 5 stars.