RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Mr. Big - …the Stories We Could Tell
Frontiers Records

Rating: B

Mr. Big is back with the second album since all the original members reformed the group.  The first reunion album, What If was a decent outing but left one asking “What happened?” as the album just didn’t have the same energy as the earlier albums by the band (excluding the track Undertow...absolutely magnificent).  With …The Stories We Could Tell one must admit the Mr. Big magic is back.  The magic may be short lived, however, as the original four members (Eric Martin on vocals, Paul Gilbert on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass and Pat Torpey on drums) recorded this release, but drummer Torpey has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  While he played drums on the album, he will be unable to tour with the band.  His fans and www.classicrockrevisited.com wish him well, and are hoping for the best.

Mr. Big was different than the run of the mill spandex wearing band of the era.  They were actually very talented and they were even named after a song by the band Free, which makes them pretty damn cool.  Torpey, Sheehan and Gilbert are an amazing band.  They can play just about anything at any tempo, in any key and anyway they wish.  What kept them from being a musician’s band was the cuteness and voice of vocalist Eric Martin.  He brought the pop, the sugar and the record sales as the chicks dug this little dude. 

The new album sounds great and the songs are well written.  In many ways this album belongs to Paul Gilbert.  His playing is fierce from start to finish.  He gets a lot of respect, but he is nowhere nearly as appreciated as he should be.  He is a living, walking, breathing guitar god.  He is all over this album and gives the songs the life and energy they need to stand tall.  Martin is still in perfect voice and he delivers as well.  The rhythm section of Torpey and Sheehan is just scary-good. 

This band may be too good, in all honesty, for the style of music they make… I think the blame for that goes to Eric Martin, but I could be wrong... I mean, if I were a singer I might just pick the same guys to be in my band too, so... Perhaps they are just fine the way they are.  Besides, that’s why Gilbert makes solo albums.

Fans of Mr. B are gonna like this one…a lot.  

Track Listing:

01. Gotta Love The Ride
02. I Forget To Breathe
03. Fragile
04. Satisfied
05. The Man Who Has Everything
06. The Monster In Me
07. What If We Were New?
08. East/West
09. The Light Of Day
10. Just Let Your Heart Decide
11. It’s Always About That Girl
12. Cinderella Smile
13. The Stories We Could Tell

By Jeb Wright