Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan, Pat Torpey and newcomer, Matt Starr of supergroup Mr. Big (which formed in 1987) prove once again that they have no intention of slowing down as they release their new record titled Defying Gravity! The album was recorded in a live studio setting; meaning no overdubbing, presenting the intimate feel as though you’re experiencing them live. The guys managed to record the twelve featured songs in just six days! That’s crazy!
What can you expect from this 6-day fiasco? A masterpiece unlike any Mr. Big album before. The overall sound of Defying Gravity is the classic Mr. Big rock ‘n’ roll sound we all know and love paired with the down and dirty blues with a splash of R&B/soul. Add in some humor and references to the past thrown into the mix.
Now don’t freak out thinking that the guys have gone off the track. They haven’t. They are still the same Mr. Big we have known through the last 25 years. Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert are still shredding their guitars ’til their fingers bleed! Pat Torpey and Matt Starr are creating new recognizable rhythmic beats, and Mr. ‘Singer Dude’ Eric Martin pulling it all together with his killer vocals!
Speaking of references to the past, a single titled “1992” that has been blowing up the internet, directly references Mr. Bigs hit single “To Be With You” which reached #1 on the Billboard Top 100! “1992” was written by Paul Gilbert who also wrote Mr. Big’s single, “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind” which reached #3 on the Billboard Top 100. In addition, “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind” was one of the first songs Paul Gilbert wrote that was featured on a Mr. Big album. Listening to “1992” brings me back in time, both hearing the lyrical references to “To Be With You” and the musical style of “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind.”
After listening to the whole album, one song that sticks out to me as a hit is “Nothing Bad (Bout Feeling Good).” It’s a groovy kind of sing-along with an easy chorus to remember. It has killer harmonies and guitar riffs. There is a distinct difference between the verse and chorus in the song which showcases Mr. Big’s musical knowledge and complexity. I still can not get over how much I love the guitar arrangements on this song!
Now, of course, Mr. Big delivered a ballad for all the girls out there called “Forever And Back.” When I first listened to this song, all I wrote in my notes was BALLAD. What else could you expect from Mr. Ballad who sang his heart out on numerous heart-wrenching songs throughout the years? You can not tell me lyrics like “I’ve been a fool to my princess” or “Then would you say that you love me?” don’t pull at your heart string. “Forever And Back” really showcases Eric Martin’s amazing vocals and the guys’ harmonies. Mr. Big seals the deal ending with “I promise to love you forever, forever and back”.
A personal favorite of mine is the impressive, seven-minute long “Be Kind.” This song is that down and dirty blues meets R&B/soul referenced early in all of its glory. It also nicely showcases the talents of each member. You can’t go wrong with a minute long outro from these guys. “Is that too much to ask?”
All in all, Defying Gravity is a solid album leaving very little to be deserved by Mr. Big fans. The album is full of honest, distressful, sincere, and humorous lyrics along with memorable vocals, rhythmic beats, guitar and bass riffs. Defying Gravity will be hitting the shelves July 21st this year but you can also grab one of the limited 500 copy deluxe box editions or vinyl set to be released August 18th!
To pre-order the album, please visit any of the following: http://radi.al/DefyingGravity
• Frontiers: http://www.frontiers.shop
• Amazon: http://radi.al/DefyingGravityAmazon
• iTunes: http://radi.al/DefyingGravityiTunes
• Google Play: http://radi.al/DefyingGravityGooglePl
Review by Alex Dale.