Mr Big
What If...

1. Undertow
2. American Beauty
3. Stranger In My Life
4. Nobody Takes the Blame
5. Still Ain't Enough for Me
6. Once Upon a Time
7. As Far as I Can See
8. All The Way Up
9. I Won't Get In My Way
10. Around the World
11. I Get the Feeling

Eric Martin - vocals
Paul Gilbert - guitars & backing vocals
Billy Sheehan - bass guitar & backing vocals
Pat Torpey - drums, percussion & backing vocals

Mr. Big (1989)
Lean Into It (1991)
Bump Ahead (1993)
Hey Man (1996)
Get Over It (2000)
Actual Size (2001)


Producer Kevin Shirley

Released 2011-01-21
Reviewed 2011-01-04


American band Mr Big has a rather appropriate name when looking at their sales which are quite big with number one singles and successful albums around the world paired up with multi million copies sold. They seem to be very big in Japan with much Platinum sales and so on and so forth.

This time they are to released or have released (if you are Japanese) an album with a pig on it and is called What If… Yeah what if it had been a cat on the cover, or a Mermaid. I am not really sure however, that it was that which was the thought behind the title and for me it does not really matter anyway.

Musically we are looking into the melodic hardrock or rock music which is focused on distinctive choruses and melodies and with a singer that sings in the higher pitched regions of the vocal scale, much like most other in the genre but maybe slightly lower and slightly less clear toned. The production is clean and tidy which is what you should expect from an experienced band like this.

This album starts with the single called Undertow which is a very fine start to the album, a really good track with a easy to take in chorus and a good melody. The same can be said about tracks Once Upon a Time, All the Way Up, and I Won’t Get In My Way. Sure you can clearly state that the other tracks are really good as well.

Some things that spring into mind when thinking of this album is good, solid, easy to take in and good songs. I think however that it is a little too much aimed at being solid rather than adventurous, brave is surely not a word that can be said about this record.

The things is that this material is strong and well made, powerful and melodic with really good songs and choruses that stick to your mind easily, it is not too long and there is really nothing to complain about, but still it is not fantastic as there is something still missing. What is missing is the bravery, this record feel a bit safe.

So, in the end I cannot really complain about anything at all but I miss that real hit song that smashes everything out, the good ones here are just slightly better than the rest and the rest is quite average for the genre. In playing it safe I think Mr Big make this album less good than it could have been, it is a good album but it feels like it could have been so much better.

I think that in music you should not play it safe because it will just be average or thereabouts, but that is exactly what Mr Big does. I wonder why, but then I guess that it has something to do with them being a big seller of records and maybe they do not want to jeopardise that with this album.

The Pig on the cover shows a bit of promise but none of that is realised in the music unfortunately, it is good nonetheless.


Label - Frontier Records
Three similar bands - Eric Martin Band/Vega/W.E.T.
Recensent: Daniel Källmalm