Just hearing the opening hard rock barrage that is "Open Your Eyes", it's instantly apparent that Mr. Big are out to create a stir with their latest release for Frontiers Records, Defying Gravity. Catchy of course in vintage Mr. Big fashion, but littered with crunchy riffs and insane Paul Gilbert/Billy Sheehan guitar & bass unison lines just like we've come to expect from the duo. Vocalist Eric Martin as always is also in fine form, lending his excellent pipes to the addicting title track and the muscular blues metal tune "Everybody Needs a Little Trouble" . With those three gems, Defying Gravity is off to a hot start.
Fans of Mr. Big's pop ballads will love the tender "Damn I'm In Love Again", an acoustic number with a can't miss hook, and it provides a great bridge to the wild "Mean to Me", easy one of the albums highlights, containing some of Gilbert's most ferocious playing on the album. "Nothing Bad (About Feeling Good)" and "Forever and Back" again showcase the talents of Martin in rock/pop ballad settings, with the rest of the band doing a fine job on the backing vocal harmonies, something these guys have always excelled at. "1992" is a blistering hard rocker with autobiographical lyrics, and "Be Kind" mixes soaring vocal harmonies in a bluesy pop context, and features a tasty solo from the virtuoso Gilbert.
Produced by Kevin Ellson, Defying Gravity is a great sounding album that has the feel of the bands classic records from the early '90s. Drummer Pat Torpey was only able to play on part of the album due to his recent diagnosis with Parkinson's disease, with Matt Starr filling in for him on a majority of the album and also going out on the road with the band. With a batch of fresh new songs that will sit alongside the classics quite nicely, make sure you go out and catch them live at a venue near you.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
01. Open Your Eyes
02. Defying Gravity
03. Everybody Needs a Little Trouble
04. Damn I'm In Love Again
05. Mean To Me
06. Nothing Bad (About Feeling Good)
07. Forever And Back
08. She's All Coming Back To Me Now
10. Nothing At All
11. Be Kind