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Mr. Big
Defying Gravity
Type: CD
Company: Frontiers
Release: 2017
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 8/22/2017
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.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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REVIEWER DATE
Defying GravityMr. Big
2017
Eric Compton8/22/2017


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