Among many things music can do, it is they bring back memories. Mr.Big, surely the band with big memories inside and their music do brings them back. They are in the mainstream movement of '80s hair metal band. Not only because of "To Be With You", but also because of their amazing discography, that actually span about four to five successful studio albums. The memories of the quartet, Eric, Paul, Billy and Pat together was firm, Richie Kotzen too. Later they are the band that made Farewell Party, yet to come back later, and it was only in 2011. Today, Mr.Big's eight studio album was in our hand, .... the Stories We Could Tell is one kind of story about this amazing band.
Yap, "Gotta Love The Ride" preserved Mr.Big historical sounds. It ride us far away back to the golden era. It has their typical downstroke power chord, smoothly solo, familiar choruses. "I Forget To Breathe" is still fast tempo song, straight forward from verse to choruses all in a quick secession. Kind of blues-rock feel. Don't forget to breathe when it come to the guitar solos. "Fragile" is sounds generic at the start, an AOR feel in mid tempo, but it has power choruses that easy to remember. "Satisfied", is traditionally the one word "-ed" song title and it always belong to excellent guitar leads tunes. Satisfied seems to be a guitar first and sing it later song. Acoustic stories bring down to "The Man Who Has Everything", brings back to every Mr.Big acoustic ballad we ever knew. "The Monster In Me"? is about two monstrous 'leads' instrument, Paul and Billy in action, this song put they battling each other for a spot of "rhythm guitar".
"East/West" is another acoustic intro leads to anthem mid tempo rock song. "Just Let Your Heart Decide" as the title suggest is pretty much Just Take My Heart in sequel. Jump to the last track we got "the Stories We Could Tell" a thick southern blues rock song to close this album. Of course with one wicked live bonuses for a memorable "Addicted To That Rush" , all to reminds us to the great Mr.Big.
This is the album that make you want to call your old buddies from the high school. "... the Stories..." is great album with great concept, it did not loose anything from Mr.Big yet powerful and fresh in writing. It going to please new and old fans. Their chemistry seems unparalleled, with every four of them doing exactly the right things. The real hair metal in revived without the sense rusty or out dated. Even the live track sounds very exciting and new. Welcome back.
Metal Harem class: ********** nine stars out of ten
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Mr.Big - ...the Stories We Could Tell (2014)
01. Gotta Love The Ride
02. I Forget To Breathe
05. The Man Who Has Everything
06. The Monster In Me
07. What If We Were New?
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
14. Addicted To That Rush (live; exclusive bonus track)
Eric Martin – vocals
Paul Gilbert – guitars
Billy Sheehan – bass
Pat Torpey – drums