Mr. Big

What If...

Written by: PP on 08/02/2011 03:09:34

From the bluesy Americana of my previous review we now turn our heads to another retrospective album, the newest opus from Mr. Big, a classic rock/80s hard rock band that was active between the years of 1988 and 2002, before reuniting two years ago as a response to fan demand. And what good is a reunion without a new album, so here we are with their seventh studio album "What If...", one that takes the listener back to the days of massive hairdos, rock star attitude, dozens of groupies lining up outside a band's hotel room after the show, and that sort of thing.

I'll happily admit to never have heard of Mr. Big or paid attention to their kind of bands, mostly because classic rock became largely irrelevant sometime between grunge and metalcore. But that doesn't mean I won't give credit to the great displays of guitar (and other instrumental) virtuoso throughout the record. It'll remind you of what the term "guitarist" used to mean before modern times diminished the term by allowing anyone and everyone to record music with a simple guitar. In that sense, a song like "Undertow" or "Stranger In My Life" sounds like the 90s/2000s never happened and the 80s is more alive than ever, due to strong vocal harmonies and larger-than-life guitar passages. They carry all the traits of the classic, puritanical rock band: back-chilling solos, high-range vocal work that used to make young female's pants wet before the likes of Patrick Stump came around, not to even mention the lingering rock star attitude that's omnipresent in their sound.

Normally, albums like "What If..." make the modern music fan shake their head and wonder what's the point, but in the case of Mr. Big, they've released an album that shares a whole lot in common with the classics in the genre from the old days. It's a record almost straight out of 80s/early 90s while carrying the old school rock influences proudly on its sleeve, and one every guitarist or a fan of that particular era should think about getting.

7

Download: Undertow, Stranger In My Life
For the fans of: Extreme, Boston, Journey
Listen: YouTube

Release date 21.01.2011
Frontiers Records

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