Review On Mr. Big’s “What If …”

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Mr. Big - What If
Mr. Big - What If
Mr. Big

Having mentioned that Mr. Big’s newest album is on sale at Amazon ($5 for the month of May 2011) we figured it’d be nice enough if we were to test the waters and give you an idea of what to expect.  Because of the subjective nature of music the use of the word “review” is pretty much for lack of better word, but there are some things worth highlighting regardless.

Yeah, so we’re a few months late on this one.  Oh well.

I don’t think any guitar enthusiast would need me to introduce Paul Gilbert or Billy Sheehan and certainly not to discredit the welcomed return of Pat Torpey and Eric Martin making this the original lineup in action here, and who doesn’t appreciate an original lineup act?  The members have good chemistry with each other it shows well here.

The performances of each musician are everything you would and should expect.  You’re not going to get any sloppy parts or half-assed takes.  We know what to expect of the members in a technical sense and they deliver to a level that mere mortals dream of.

The tube and analog tonal quality of the instruments is very welcomed.  The distortion is in a nice sweet spot to give a good crunch, while allowing chords and tenser intervals to really show their personality.

The mix is also nicely done so the instruments never take it to the ring for an audio wrestling match.  You can hear each instrument clearly at all times.  Eric Martin’s vocals are also nice and natural, so that’s a good breath of fresh air from the over used auto-tune.

Songwriting is a bit of a touchy subject to critique, though.

At least you can’t really argue about technique, but if you don’t like the music then everything I say is out the window, so take it for what it’s worth.  That said I found the song writing to be great.

Each song has its own personality and none of the songs feel like they got less attention than others.  Tasteful chord progressions, with good melodies and harmonies.  Some of the songs like the opener “Undertow”, “Nobody Left to Blame”, and “Around the World” are more energetic, but there are plenty of changes in pace with Stranger in My Life” and “All the Way Up” which slow it down.  I suppose that’s the best I can do on that.  I can’t slap the sheet music up here and say “just look at how good those melodies are,” so there you go.

In summary the moral of the story is really the band didn’t do anything you wouldn’t expect of them.

Their performance and attention to detail really shows through.  The really die-hard fans probably already have the album right now, so if you’re reading this with curiousity you can rest assured you’re not going to get a cheap cash-in to make a few bucks off an established name.  The musicians are legendary and they perform like it.  You’re getting an album with exceptional performances and a lot of variety.  If you go and buy it based off this review and you don’t like it then please accept my preemptive apology.

And I don’t like putting number values on music, so if you’re seeing this sentence then I’ve successfully argued my way out of having to rate it.

You can pick this album up at Amazon ($5 for the month of May, 2011!)

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Kyle Smitchens

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.

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