It has been both very pleasing and very difficult to write
this review, because as many of you may know, Mr Big drummer Pat Torpey is
battling Parkinson's disease. It is great to know that he will be accompanying
the band on tour, assisting on backup vocals in places where the drumming has
become too difficult. Best wishes to him. Go and see them on tour this Autumn.
It will be my 4th Mr Big gig and I am very much looking forward to hearing these
songs live, and of course seeing Pat in whatever capacity he is able to perform.
The album is phenomenal. I think the best thing about it are the lyrics and
vocals. Eric Martin sounds even better than he did 25 years ago. I have listened
to this album so many times in the last two weeks and I have reached the
conclusion that this is my favourite Mr Big album. It is like they've taken the
very best of their discography and made a best of compilation but with new
songs. You have a couple of ballads 'Just Let Your Heart Decide' and 'The Man
Who Has Everything' that are right up there with 'Just Take My Heart'. 'Eastwest'
and 'Fragile' are still kinda like ballads but not quite - they just give you
that impression from the way they start out, going back to more of a rock sound
as the songs develop. It similar to something like 'Lucky This Time', except the
other way around in that 1991s 'Lucky This Time' starts nore rocky and ends like
a ballad. The punchy and rocking blues based riffs 'What If We Were New' and
'Satisfied' are my personal favourites. I find the choruses particularly fun.
Yes, there are of course phenomenal guitar solos at the hands of one of the most
revered rock guitarists in the world - placed perfectly to move things along and
keep the sound fresh and innovative. What's more, they're just what is need to
compliment and accompany the songs. They do not have to be exceptionally fast
alternate picking and string skipping solos put there just because the guy can
do it. Mr Big are far too experienced to make such mistakes as these.
It also applies to Billy's bass playing. Billy however, takes a more of a step
back than the previous album where the bass was more heavier sounding. It's
worked very well to back up the driving force of this album which have to be the
vocals and guitar riffs.
The signature Mr Big move of including the dual bass/guitar solo is joyfully
included in 'The Light of Day' with Billy finishing it on some crazy tapping of
harmonics. Just joyful.
They know what they're doing, and they've been doing it better than a lot of
others for a lot of years.