Mr Big
Live From the Living Room

01. Undertow
02. Still Ain't Enough For Me
03. As Far As I Can See
04. Voodoo Kiss
05. Take Cover
06. Around The World
07. Stranger In My Life
08. All The Way Up
09. To Be With You
10. Nobody Left To Blame

Eric Martin - Vocals
Paul Gilbert - Guitars
Billy Sheehan - Bass, 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)
What If... (2011)

Takashi Miyazaki - Strings, Japanese Taiko Drums


Released 24/2-2012
Reviewed 10/2-2012


The big guy is back with new material, this time recorded in a living room. Not really that but a television studio made to look like a living room and just like Cheers it is recorded in front of a live studio audience. The japanese station doing this is one with a big wow-factor, as it is a double wower. It is recorded in Japan and it is a live show that is predominantly acoustic but with a smidgeon of electric guitar and stuff along with some strings that is set up by japanese guy Takashi Somejapaneselastname (or something similar). The songs consist of material that is mainly from the latest album What If… but of course with their biggest hit To Be With You which according to some website was a Billboard Hot 100 number one in fifteen countries. I didn’t even know that the Billboard lists was that widespread, it was number one on the Swedish singles charts so it must have been a number one in at least sixteen countries according to that website’s information. Stupidity in motion there of course but what about this semi-acoustic thing, is it a stroke of genius, or is it plain dumb.

Well musically it would seem like To Be With You have found some long lost colleges in that most of the album comes in the same kind of acoustic shroud. It is live so the sound is far from perfect but on most accounts it is alright, the talking between songs appears a bit on the lengthy side and frequent as well. The live studio audience is less audible than the one on Cheers and the singer doesn’t quite get japanese names right either. There are ten tracks on this album and they are not overly varied thanks to the acoustic style that is the dominant part in the style of the album, it is 48 minutes long this album.

There’s no flying pig on this album cover art and no hint of one anywhere but the album is still on the positive side of the scale. I think most of the What If… songs like Undertow, As Far As I Can See, Stranger in My Life and All The Way Up are much better in this version that they were on the What If… album and compared to that I would say that this Living Room creation is far superior. I also have to lift their biggest hit which is more or less as good on this album as it was when it was released. So overall it is a good album.

Still, I think the sound leaves some things to be desired and I also think that the singer talks a lot of crap and he is one of those guys that should really keep his mouth shut as he sounds like an idiot every time he talks. Even if the songs are better than What If… it feels a bit like this is mainly for the ones already into this band and their music and as I think Mr Big is more of an average band they don’t really appeal that much to me. Sure this album is good but it is really no more than that, good and fun to listen to but you forget most of it as soon as it ends.

So in the end it is a rather fun album, hard to label as it is neither an acoustic album nor a normal live album and there are some japanese guests and recorded in a studio in front of a live studio audience, is it a sitcom like Cheers without the humour. It feels like something the fans will love and then for some completely unimaginable reason rave about their great skills as musicians, but honestly they are no better or worse than most other bands but this was a good idea that made some of their songs sounded better. I would say though, that it will mostly appeal to the fans and the rest of us will just think it is a good album and then forget it faster than a penguin.



Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Eric Martin Band/Vega/W.E.T.
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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