MR. BIG – Defying Gravity
To be perfectly honest with you, it has been quite a while since I last dug into an album by Mr. Big. I had no idea what to expect when this 2017 effort of theirs entitled "Defying Gravity" showed up one day, but I was pleasantly surprised hy this 11-track record of solid and dynamic hard rock.
The first few songs are pretty damn wicked. "Open Your Eyes" is a groovy fucker with a raw vibe to it while the title track boasts some incredible melodies and a great chorus. You get mellow and moving ballad-like material as well as bombastic hard rock with balls to it, which is to say that the album is anything but repetitive or same-y throughout. Granted, some songs do very little for me and fall short of what constitutes a great song, but I really dig the variety of the song material. Other highlights include the irresistable "Everybody Needs a Little Trouble" and the wonderfully vibrant and unpredictable "Mean to Me". There is a lot of good stuff to immerse oneself in here.
As to the sound and production of "Defying Gravity", you can simply tell that these guys did not linger in the studio for months on end obsessing about tiny details and whatnot. Instead Mr. Big went for a much more organic and direct approach, which was to record these tracks in a mere six days, but the record benefits greatly from that. It has an intuitive vibe and an immediate feel to it that is charming. At times it sounds like a bunch of guys jamming in rehearsals and simply having fun belting out a batch of well-written and catchy tunes. Like I said, the spontaneity of the album is endearing, but more importantly the songs have depth and color to them. Eric Martin’s vocals are strong, Paul Gilbert proves that he still knows how to conjure up great and hook-laden riffs, and the bass lines courtesy of Billy Sheehan are as solid and cool as ever.
"Defying Gravity" by Mr. Big does exactly what any good hard rock album is supposed to do in that it is entertaining, cohesive, and memorable. There is nothing overly complicated or convoluted about the whole affair; this is simply Mr. Big playing kick-ass rock in a convincing manner.