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Released: 2017, Frontiers Records
I realize that some of our readers might feel that Mr. Big is a bit too mellow but the band has a long history and tradition of Hard Rock so they make the cut in my mind. The last Mr. Big thing I reviewed was the ‘Tribute to Mr. Big album (INFLUENCES AND CONNECTIONS) way back in 2004!
I’ve always enjoyed the band and even though GET OVER IT and ACTUAL SIZE were weaker, the last three ‘comeback’ albums (ie. post 2010 reunion albums) have all been superb. The new one DEFYING GRAVITY follows that grand tradition of funky and fun Hard Rock. They present us with another cool pun intended album cover art and another fine 11 cut album featuring the original line-up from way back in 1989.
Speaking of way back in 1989...the band has a new song called ‘1992’ which lyrically is a fun look at the rise and fall of a band. At first I thought they might be referring to themselves but it could apply to Skid Row as well I suppose. They have the obligatory brilliant ballads…’Damn I’m In Love Again’ is this albums version of ‘To Be With You’. It’s catchy as all hell. The lyrics really standout, the band has a world-weariness but fun outlook that shines through on tracks like ‘Everyone Needs A Little Trouble’ and ‘Nothing Bad (Bout Feeling Good)’.
One element I really like is the amped up, shred parts of this album. I would argue this is their fastest and heaviest album since the first two and the dynamic shred bass/guitar/drum/interplay thing they good in little burst is very welcome to my ears. The songs are stronger and everything just seems to have clicked on this record.
I’m not going to belabour it, either you like Mr. Big or you don’t. I do! Most music fans should have heard of them by now over their 30-year career and in their stronghold of Japan this album already went Top 10…again. This might explain why they have at least six ‘Live In Japan’ albums. I guess you could say their career is defying gravity? I’m glad it is because I’m on board until these guys crash and burn or go out in a blaze of glory. In a just world this would be Top 10 world-wide because it is as good as anything they have ever done and people would be loving this band as much as they did back in 1992.
1. Open Your Eyes
2. Defying Gravity
3. Everybody Needs a Little Trouble
4. Damn I'm in Love Again
5. Mean To Me
6. Nothing Bad (About Feeling Good)
7. Forever and Back
8. She's All Coming Back to Me Now
10. Nothing at All
11. Be Kind
Eric Martin - Vocals
Paul Gilbert - guitar
William Sheehan - Bass
Patrick Torpey - Drums