Mr Big - 'Live From The Living Room' (Frontiers) 3/5
With a set thats based mainly around tracks from the bands most recent studio opus 'What If...' with a few old classics like Voodoo Kiss and To Be With You thrown in as crowd pleasers, this one isn't to bad. Surprisingly the high point of this one is the guitar work of Paul Gilbert, stripped of his fx units and power drills his playing comes over as solid and inventive and with none of the hysteronic widdle and twiddle he has become renowned for. Hats off to the rest of the band as well, Mr's Sheehan, Torpey and Gilbert all put in some good solid and technically good performances, which go to show they have lost none of the style and swagger that made Mr Big one of the more interesting outfits of the late 1980's.
However, no mater how proficient this album is, there is still some thing lacking, there's no real 'wow' factor. Take Around The World, a track that features some fine interplay between Mr Gilbert and Mr Sheehan, as good as the performance is you end up think that was 'nice' rather than 'bloody hell that was great'. And that holds true for most of the album. There are a couple of stand out moments however, Stranger In My Life is the true stand out cut on offer, just because of the shear quality of the song writing, nd the aforementioned Voodoo Kiss, toned down a little from the rocking original comes over with a nice sleazy groove; but that's it for highlights I'm afraid, the rest of the record is ok, but damned ordinary. That is until the encore cut of Nobody Left To Blame, when the band return plugged and show all the drive and fire the rest of this album lacks.
Over all I think you have to be a real fan of Mr Big or acoustic style sessions in general to get the most out of this one, everyone else should try before they buy.
Competent, but nothing that outstanding.
For fans of... Mr. Big and unplugged sessions