Metal Storm logo
Mr. Big - Ten review


9 users:
Band: Mr. Big
Album: Ten
Style: Hard rock
Release date: July 2024

01. Good Luck Trying
02. I Am You
03. Right Outta Here
04. Sunday Morning Kinda Girl
05. Who We Are
06. As Good As It Gets
07. What Were You Thinking
08. Courageous
09. Up On You
10. The Frame
11. See No Okapi [Japanese bonus]

The fat lady begins to sing.

Ah, Mr. Big, the answer to the question "what would happen if we took virtuosos on their chosen instrument and combined them together into one rock band?" Well, you end with a band that puts the power into power pop and then some. After a long career, and the untimely passing of Pat Torpey, the band have decided the curtain will fall on their career. With the band taking an extended victory lap and deciding to end their discography on an even number, Ten marks the swansong for a group wanting to go out on a high note. While the band's flashy exuberance is in the rear view mirror, Mr. Big are still capable of pulling a few rabbits out of their hats.

While Mr. Big made their name with overexuberant rock that boarded on glam at times, Ten carries on their roots of being a power pop band, with much of the album best categorised as adult contemporary rock. This lower energy style may not be what you want from Mr. Big (I prefer hearing Paul Gilbert pushing his guitar to the limit), but at least this substitute style is well done. Case in point is "Sunday Morning Kinda Girl", a track with The Beatles written all over it; if you adjust your expectations accordingly, you will find the album can still entertain you.

Never one to do things by convention, it's tracks that throw in these twists and turns that hold the most entertainment value. "Up On You" is a standard rock number that features Gilbert's unorthodox guitar work in a solo that makes the greatest impression on the ears, as it subverts expectation in a way Mr. Big have made a career out of. This doesn't always result in success, however, as Ten kicks off with a track that is more extended jam session than song in "Good Luck Trying": different, but not exactly entertaining.

Ten is a well produced album, with "The Frame" (the obligatory ballad) for example captured and presented just as you would hope for. Each instrument weaves between the other while having enough space sonically to breathe and not be buried underneath one another.

As mentioned earlier, Ten is an album that requires you to adjust your expectations to a power pop album, which will be something some listeners will be disappointed by, as it's not the style that saw the band gain its popularity originally. "I Am You" seems so pedestrian for a band that contains more talent than many of their peers combined; for a swansong it sounds like the band are saving their best material for other projects, and Ten is left with the scraps.

While Mr. Big may not save the best for last, Ten does at least allow the band to bow out on their terms, which is something few get to do. As the book closes on the band's history, the ink was starting to run dry and the author running out of ideas; Ten isn't the perfect goodbye by any means, but one that does have its moments.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 8

Written on 02.07.2024 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 80 users
03.07.2024 - 17:54
These guys still around??!
06.07.2024 - 13:01
These guys and Extreme. Lots of talent, but bad timing. One of my University roommates had "To Be With You" on regular rotation in 1990. I think that was the last we heard of them in Canada.

Hits total: 1372 | This month: 1372