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Mr. Big
What If...
June 2011
Released: 2011, Frontiers
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Celtic Bob

Mr. Big have returned with a killer album of new studio material. A band that is most commonly known for the ballad “To Be With You” give us the ballad-less album WHAT IF… The closest to a ballad is “All The Way Up” which by most standards is a full on ballad but compared to “To Be With You” this is just a slower Rock song. Despite being known for that one ballad Mr. Big wrote and recorded some of the best Hard Rock songs from “Addicted To That Rush” off their self titled debut to “Colorado Bulldog” off BUMP AHEAD, even this writer’s personal favorite Mr. Big song; “Green tinted Sixties Mind of their sophomore disc; LEAN INTO IT was an upbeat Hard Rock track.

2011 finds the original 4 back together and making some of the best Hard Rock you could ask for. Eric’s vocals are still as amazing as ever and the over the top musicianship of Gilbert and Sheehan cannot be beat. These guys are a couple of the best out there and show it on this album without making it a musician’s album that the vast majority would find boring and monotonous. From the moment I first heard “Undertow” I was anticipating the release of this disc. The song is one of the heaviest songs the band has ever done musically with Paul’s distorted guitar cranking out some melodic riffs throughout. Add in Billy’s melodic bass, Pat’s steady drumming with Eric’s raspy yet amazing voice and you can’t go wrong. This is one of many fantastic songs here. A few of the songs on here sound like they could have been released 20 years ago on LEAN INTO IT or BUMP AHEAD. This is a suitable follow-up to those discs for us North American folk who never got domestic releases of some of their albums which came out only in Japan. Maybe with this new resurgence of the band they will get re-issued?

One excellent new release from an older artist. With any luck they will stick together and continue to release product like this. WHAT IF… is one of the best albums of the year by far. 

Track Listing

American Beauty
Stranger In My Life
Nobody Left to Blame
Still Ain't Enough for Me
Once Upon a Time
As Far As I Can See
All The Way Up
I Won't Get In My Way
Around The World
I Get The Feeling


Eric Martin
Paul Gilbert
Billy Sheehan
Pat Torpey

Next review: » Mr. Dead - Long Live The New Flesh
Previous review: » Mr. Big - Volume One: Influences & connections

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