Hands up, I’ve never given Mr Big the time of day. Even since I heard their massive 1991 hit To Be With You, I closed the door on them completely. That song made my teeth water and my ears cry. But they do say time is a great healer, and now as I’m two years into my 5th decade, I think it’s time to open that door. This is the bands eighth studio offering and follows 2011’s What If.
Opening track Gotta Love The Ride delivers with a earthy slice of Zeppelin and Sknynrd, and threatens to explode, but in truth it doesn’t need to, it’s infectious tempo carries the song through. Next up, I Forgot To Breathe, is a perfectly crafted rocker with a sublime chorus, and a wonderful trademark Paul Gilbert solo. The radio friendly tones of Fragile takes the edge off after the gritty opening tracks. If you like a bit of sexual innuendo in your songs, Satisfied won’t disappoint, with it’s nasty guitars and a humping bass line from Mr Sheehan. If it wasn’t for the flawless performance of vocalist Eric Martin, The Man Who Has Everything, would probably fall flat on it’s face. But his crisp, soul filled voice, breathes life into an otherwise ordinary ballad.
The brilliant funk leanings of The Monster In Me, reminds us what magician bassist Billy Sheehan is. Without doubt the highlight of the album so far. What If We Were New and It’s Always About That Girl are much in the same vein as Satisfied, seductive, in your face belters. Light Of Day is another standout track, with Gilbert and Sheehan once again in blistering form. This a real roll the top down and cruise number. Ballad, Just Let Your Heart Decide is a weak point for me. I generally like my ballads big and beefy, but this is low fat at best. The album closes on a high note with the title track, with fantastic classic rock elements, right in the vein of Free and Bad Company.
All in all, this is a traditional rock album, packed tight with melody, towering bass lines and killer guitar work. Though I think it’s a bit top heavy with ballads, but don’t let that put you off, there’s plenty of head shakers on it. I’m glad I’ve lost my Mr Big virginity, but I still hate that bloody song.