Mr. Big aren’t going to make a bad record. Like any group of professionals at this high a level of competency their abilities won’t allow them to drop below a certain standard. The question with this band has always been how often their weird alchemy will kick in alongside it.
When it does, as it has in the past with Green Tinted Sixties Mind or Addicted To That Rush or Promise Her The Moon, Mr. Big are something quite special. The first time it happens on …The Stories We Could Tell – the second studio record since the original quartet got back together in 2009 – is on the fittingly titled Fragile, so delicate is this chemistry.
Guitarist Paul Gilbert’s restless invention and Eric Martin’s magnificently phrased vocals are wonderful. Gilbert is the star of this record; there’s an exceptional solo on Satisfied, and plenty of weighty, witty riffing, while Martin’s way with a ballad shines on The Light Of Day.