There was a 10 year wait between ACTUAL SIZE and WHAT IF… and luckily we only had to wait 3 for …THE STORIES WE COULD TELL. This album is the perfect follow-up to 2011’s WHAT IF… It is the quintessential Mr. Big album and has everything you’d expect from these phenomenal musicians.
WHAT IF… was an amazing album that took us by surprise, Even after the 2009 reunion of the band and the BACK TO BUDOKAN Blu-Ray that documented it, we never expected an album let alone one of such magnitude. With that said …AND THE STORIES WE COULD TELL is a continuation of that greatness. The songs are all fantastic and every member has never sounded or played so good. Yes it’s a cliche that gets said with many new albums. This is the band’s strongest of their career or similar but it applies here on the bands playing. While there may be no “To Be With You” hit the songs are all enjoyable on many levels. Yes there is ballads or slower songs for those that enjoy that side of the band but the majority is full on heavy balls to the wall material. Paul Gilbert’s guitar is over the top in a lot of places while Billy Sheehan’s bass just lays down a solid, melodic bass line for the most part. He does do a couple of quick “Shy Boy” type solos on the disc. Eric Martin has never sounded so good. He’s another great that gets better with age. His distinct vocals suit this band to a T and nobody could fill his shoes. Everything he sings has such melody yet so powerful. One of the greatest singers out there and highly underrated. Behind them and working tightly with Sheehan is drummer Pat Torpey never missing a beat. He just bangs out the rhythm adding in the occasional fill or double kick. Nothing over the top just a solid backbeat. Extraordinary musicians creating music for the masses without being too technical. Simply perfect.
This is classic Mr. Big. If you enjoyed 2009’s WHAT IF… then you will enjoy this one. I enjoy it even more. It took a couple of spins but even that initial listen was enjoyable. It has everything you’d expect from a Mr. Big album with the original line-up. They have gotten tighter since the last album if that was possible. One of the strongest albums of 2014.
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