Alright, we’re rolling… It’s time for a new MR. BIG album. The call went out and it took this talented supergroup six days to create their 9th studio album with the original band members; Eric Martin (lead vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitars), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums). Whilst Torpey was unable to perform some of the songs on Defying Gravity due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, the talented Matt Starr has been filling in for him on the majority of the album. For those who don’t know Matt Starr, he is an American born rock drummer, singer and producer. As of 2012 he is also the drummer for Ace Frehley (KISS). Starr has also been touring with the band for the past few years, with Torpey able to play a couple of songs at each stop. With the band gearing up for their worldwide tour starting in Milwaukee, WI at the Potowatami Casino on the 31st of May 2017, releasing this album will have fans chomping at the bit.
Paul Gilbert was quoted saying, ‘“It was great to get back in the studio with our original producer, Kevin Elson. Kevin recorded all of our original classic albums from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and we immediately felt that magic chemistry with him on Defying Gravity. We basically played live in the studio. Over the years, we’ve all had a chance to experiment with every recording technique possible, but it’s still always the best just to play together as a band. Most of my guitar solos were tracked live with the band. I’ve worked hard on my improvisation in the last few years, and it really paid off on this record…both melodically, and on the face-melting stuff.”’ Kevin Elson was also the producer for 1989 self-titled debut Mr Big, 1991’s Lean Into It and 1993’s Bump Ahead.
With 8 studio albums behind them, Defying Gravity is the follow-up to 2014’s The Stories We Could Tell, which Ultimate-Guitar.com described as “An exceptional offering of accelerated hard rock from one of the more dominant ‘supergroups’ of the late 1980s, MR. BIG return with a vengeance on The Stories We Could Tell.”
The album opens with a Billy Sheehan bass and Paul Gilbert duel guitar riff followed by the opening lyrics ‘Alright, we’re rolling…’
You certainly roll through the tracks as this album is easy listening and would be great to see live. The songs are amazing, a brilliant sound from a band that have been around since 1988. The songs have this melodic rock vibe and the experience in Eric Martins voice is undeniable.
The tracks I love are; ‘Open Your Eyes’, ‘Damn I’m In Love Again’, ‘1992’ and ‘Be Kind’. The vocals and the sound from the band are amazing. The whole album is great. The supergroup has excelled yet again on a great album. This album should be purchased by every rock fan out there. There are songs for everyone. I can imagine being at their concert, front row and singing along to ‘1992’. With their experience of live shows, their up and coming tour is definitely one to attend. Loyal fans to MR. BIG will not be disappointed in this album and new fans will be hooked and will want to listen to their old music, which is a journey everyone should go on.
As a new fan myself, I spent time listening to their older stuff and I love them. The songs that stood out to me are; ‘Wild World,’ ‘To Be With You’ and ‘’Just Take My Heart.’’ For all rock fans out there, go get this album and purchase a ticket for their tour. You will not be disappointed.