Mr. Big – What IF (album review)

Mr. Big:
What If (Frontiers Records) CD review

By: Justine Bevan

Veteran rock musicians Mr. Big have released their seventh studio album in over 10 years entitled What If. This album is the follow up to their live recording in 2009, Back To Budokan, which managed to spark interest not only in Japan (where they have a massive following), but also here in the States as well.

This band has their definitive fan base already established, but with the sound of this new studio effort, it is possible that they may relive some of the success that they found for themselves stateside back in the 90’s with their hit single “To Be With You” (don’t surmise this band up by that song — they are so much heavier, but still melodic, than that ballad lets on.)   Well, that might be far-fetched, but mainly because the day of the hit single has had its day in the sun, not Mr. Big, and certainly not What If! The best song on the entire album is one that, Japan didn’t get  and it’s “Unforgiven”.  The U.S. and Europe got this version of What If, while Japan and Korea got a version that has a song extra called “Kill Me With A Kiss”.

Heavier sounding drums, gritty guitar and bass, and Eric Martin showing his range of vocal talents. “Unforgiven” rocks, and they should consider releasing it as a special single outside the U.S., jus’ sayin’. The other standouts on the record are “Nobody Left To Blame,” “All The Way Up,” and of course the first release off of the album, “Undertow”. “Undertow” is a catchy “everyone will likely like this” kind of tune. Other likable tracks are “American Beauty” and “I Won’t Get In My Way”. Clearly What If proves that this band still has something to say that is worth listening to. Get it, listen to it, and love it!