Bands like Mr. Big seem to just get better and better with age
Ninth album for the Free-inspired LA hard rockers and third since 2009's reunion of original members Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey. 'Defying Gravity' is produced by early collaborator Kevin Elson, who worked with the band's prime era of 'Mr. Big', 'Lean into It' and 'Bump Ahead'.
Once again Italian label Frontiers is behind the release, continuing to capture the 80s arena rock fans and its performers. "Open Your Eyes" is a solid opener with the band's vintage, easy going vibe. Martin is accompanied by the familiar harmonized vocals to lift up the chorus. "Damn I'm in Love Again" would be on the radio if radio still existed. It's an acoustical little jingle with some "doo-da-do" harmony and softer percussion, similar to what Jack Russell's Great White pulled off earlier this year. The album's title track and lead single has a driving, softer riff from "pop shredder" Gilbert. "Mean to Me" and nostalgic "1992" burns up the strings, a blues-soaked rock anthem with spacious fills from Torpey (or his fill-in and touring replacement Matt Starr).
Like Night Ranger, Great White (both of them really), Dokken, Y&T...these bands seem to get better and better with age. I'm not sure who will be standing on stage performing these songs 25-years from now. "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" ...baby I don't know.