Music Review: Mr. Big – What If… (2011)

They may be known best for To Be With You and Wild World, but are so much more than the band who played these songs as they prove yet again, this time with a new batch of songs. Mr. Big’s 2011 album What If… is an amazing display of their song-writing strength, as opposed to being merely a showcase of their playing skills.

Undertow sets the mood for the album, and American Beauty is just what has been missing for the longest time – good old rock n’ roll. The drums, the bass, the guitars and the vocals… all are at work here, each aware of their role, all distinctly heard. Fantastic rock ballads on this one: Stranger In My Life, All The Way Up. In fact, all the songs on the album are excellent.

Mr. Big has never overwhelmed me with their songs the way they have with their musicianship. What Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey always leave me in awe of the dynamics they create together; they have always (and perhaps subconsciously) crafted great songs instead of masturbating their instruments. Don’t mistake this for lack of technical wizardry – What If…, like every other Mr. Big album, has deadly bass lines, terrific solos, apt drumming and perfect singing. Some may think of Eric Martin as a misfit, but I say nothing suits this music better than his singing style.

Here’s a band that can be as or more technical than the death metal bands we know, but happens to be a rock n’ roll band. A great rock n’ roll band that chooses to work on collective power, and not individual strength. What If… is yet another superb album from Mr. Big, and I suggest you give it a listen while I try to get my hands (and ears) on the bonus tracks.

RATING: 4.5/5

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2 Responses to “Music Review: Mr. Big – What If… (2011)”

  1. 1 sanket
    January 24, 2011 at 13:40

    I would not have been able to summarize Mr. Big better. Virtuoso talent, but each member just playing for the song. Bump Ahead is one of my all time favourite albums…”Colorado Bulldog” one of my alltime fav songs…

    mr big kicks ass.


  2. August 7, 2014 at 11:16

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