Mr Big The Stories We Could Tell
" The Stories We Could Tell " is Mr Big's eighth studio cd in a career that dates back 25 years and is the follow up to 2011's superb reunion cd " What If ".
If like me you have been a fan since day one then for me the release of a new cd by these 4 magnificent musicians is an event. From the very first note of " Addicted To That Rush " in 1989 I have been hooked like millions of others. A group that collectively have a spark of magic and a sprinkling of fairy dust that few can match.
Paul Gilbert has said of the new " cd that after 25 years, I'm proud that we can make an album that is melodic, powerful, interesting, groovy, and emotional. "
A different beast to the in your face raw production of " What If " , Eric Martin has said
"To me this is the album that we’ve threatened to make decades ago. A classic, groovin', blues-rock record with the spirit and spark of our rock and soul idols from the 70’s."
Sounds like the perfect Mr Big cd to me and after having been privileged to have now listened to the cd for a month I think it is.
Each musician sits at the top of their game. Be it from Eric Martin's melodic vocal and powerful edge to Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan's telepathic understanding to Pat Torpey's groove and wonderful backing vocals. If this is to be Pat's swansong after the recent announcement that he has Parkinson's Disease then Pat we salute you.You did one hell of a job.
" Gotta Love The Ride " opens the cd with a very different feel to " What If's Undertow " and it is apparent straight away it is all about the groove. A mid tempo stomper with a bluesy flow and a chorus that after repeated plays sticks in the mind. Great guitar solo too.
" I Forget To Breathe " is driven by Pat's insistent drum rhythm and open ended stop start Paul riff. Love the pre chorus slow down with Eric's vocal at it's melodic best and some great backing vocals on the chorus. Love Billy's bass line under Paul's solo as well.
" Fragile " has a Paul riff that changes from a hold on riff to a jangly melodic tone nearer the chorus on a track that would have been a single back in the day. Some real passion in Eric's vocal. Excellent Paul outro solo.
" Satisfied " starts on a Billy riff before the band kick in with a bluesy dirty guitar riff that will go down a storm live. I seriously love this track with Paul at times soloing along and added licks everywhere. The pre second chorus with Paul copying Eric's vocal is stunning. Excellent chorus and Paul's solo that veers near feedback is just off the scale. If you aren't singing along to the chorus after a couple of plays you need to check your pulse.
" The Man Who Has Everything " is the cd's first ballad with Eric showing his class with a soulful vocal with the added orchestral strings adding a real depth to the track. Paul's short but powerful picked solo again hits just so.
" The Monster In Me " has an Addicted feel with Billy's bass histrionics at the beginning and him leading on this track that grooves and also has a heavy funky feel to it too. 2 Paul solo's only add to the track an a song that will be another live favourite.
Mr. Big (from left to right): Paul Gilbert (guitar), Eric Martin (lead vocals),
Pat Torpey (drums) and Billy Sheehan (bass).
" East / West " has an acoustic intro and an exquisite Eric vocal that leads into a track that blends acoustic and electric riffs and again has a chorus that deserves to be sang loud by huge crowds. A song that makes you feel good and makes you want to press play again.
" The Light Of Day " is an uptempo rocker with Billy's fabulous bass work underpinning the song. Eric sings his heart out and the song features a classic Billy and Paul dual solo. A cousin to Colarado Bulldog ! One for the live shows.
" Just Let Your Heart Decide " is a classic Mr Big soulful ballad with a huge chorus and backing vocal that would have been all over the radio back in the day. A picked Paul solo at the end of the first chorus is only bettered by the main song solo!!
" It's all About The Girl " is a mid tempo stomper with Pat driving the song on as he has done since day one with more huge backing vocals and an extra outro Paul solo just to up the quota on the cd.
" Cinderella Smile " is a slower groove laden track with a stop start riff that is all about the groove.
" The Stories We Could Tell " is a slow mid tempo track with a chorus that slows up with all the band and then kicks back in again.
As a bonus track a romp through live classic " Addicted To That Rush " with all the band on top form gives us a glimpse to the live shows with the band due at The Koko in London next month.
I for one can't wait.
The more I hear it the more I like it. A real classic feel Mr Big album with stunning musicianship and vocals from a band that are at the top of their game and big kudo's to producer Pat Regan for capturing the band perfectly.
I can't recommend this enough and I'm sure it will be at the very top of many people's best of lists come the end of the year.
Mr Big thank you!!