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Mr. Big - Lean Into It (30th Anniversary Edition) Award winner

Mr. Big
Lean Into It (30th Anniversary Edition)
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 25 October 2021, 1:03 PM

MR. BIG, in the beginning, was a band built after Billy was fired from David Lee Roth’s band. He joined forces with manic 6-string ace Paul (of RACEX X), singer Eric (of ERIC MARTIN BAND and a solo career) and drummer Pat (known for his works with names as IMPELLITTERI, Ted Nugent and many others. All of them experienced, but the band’s first album, “Mr. Big” (released on 1989), failed to earn the commercial success. But with 1991’s “Lean Into It”, things changed and it was a battering ram to make the quartet’s name great throughout the world. This remastered version to commemorate the album’s 30th has all the sense one can think of.

“Lean Into It” is more accessible for a broader public than its predecessor (because “Mr. Big” was heavier in the sonority and with many technical moments that would make the market for those days react not as it could, and remember that people isn’t patient to deal with musical complexities), with better and sharpened melodies and choruses. The band did a less technical approach on the instruments, creating solid Glam Metal/Hard Rock songs that could be swallowed easily, as can be heard on many moments (what can be heard on “Alive and Kickin’” and “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind”). Their musical work can be defined easily: a wise mix between Glam Metal melodies with a classic North American Hard Rock embodiment that uses fine set of choruses and melodies, and with talented musicians using their best efforts to create songs (and not self-indulgenced technical parts). This solid insight on the songs is what made the album a great success.

As happened on the first album, the band again worked with the producer Kevin Elson Who did the sound engineering and the mixing, having Tom Size helping on mixing), and Bob Ludwig on the mastering. The original sonority was amazing for those days, when the reign of Glam Metal was on its end (“Lean Into It” was released on March, 6 months before Grunge Rock came and took things by assault), and the remastering turned the sonority even better, but without messing the original sonority up. Yes, it makes the album sound greater than the original.

And let’s tell the truth: this album was conceived to be a success, and it has all the merits for it. And mixing excellent heavy songs as “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)” (a heavy and catchy Glam Metal/Hard Rock song, balancing wisely weight and melodies), “Alive and Kickin’” (another very good balanced song, with some 70’s melodies that fits greatly, and a wonderful chorus), “Voodoo Kiss” (a catchy set of rhythms with wonderful vocals), “Never Say Never” (another catchy set of melodies based on a heavy work from bass guitar and drums and backing vocals), and “My Kinda Woman” (a typical Glam/Hard Rock song from the 80’s, here with excellent guitars’ arrangements) with commercial piledriving hits as “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind” (one of the Singles of the album, with very good accessible melodies to play on radios, with lovely vocals and backing vocals), “CDFF-Lucky This Time” (another very good radio orientated song, with tender melodies) “Just Take My Heart” (an excellent and soft ballad), and the acoustic “To Be With You” (that shows their musical versatility, based on clean acoustic guitars, vocals, backing vocals and handclaps) was the right formula to become as great as the giants of those days.

On disc 2, there are bonuses songs, as some unreleased material. And to hear “Stop Messing Around”, “Wild Wild Women”, “Love Makes You Strong” (all on remastered versions), the early versions for “Alive and Kickin’” and “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind” (that are Demo versions, for what can be heard), a Reggae version for “To Be With You” is a very good experience. And for those who love to play along, versions for “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)” and “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind” without the guitar parts, and “Love Makes You Strong” and “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)” without bass guitar parts, are really a call for fun

Let’s celebrate “Lean Into It”’s 30th anniversary, and this version shows why MR. BIG is so… big!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Disc 1

1. Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song) (2021 Remastered)
2. Alive and Kickin’ (2021 Remastered)
3. Green-Tinted Sixties Mind (2021 Remastered)
4. CDFF-Lucky This Time (2021 Remastered)
5. Voodoo Kiss (2021 Remastered)
6. Never Say Never (2021 Remastered)
7. Just Take My Heart (2021 Remastered)
8. My Kinda Woman (2021 Remastered)
9. A Little Too Loose (2021 Remastered)
10. Road to Ruin (2021 Remastered)
11. To Be With You (2021 Remastered)

Disc 2

1. Stop Messing Around
2. Wild Wild Women
3. Just Take My Heart (acoustic)
4. Shadows (2021 Remastered)
5. Strike Like Lighting (2021 Remastered)
6. Love Makes You Strong (2021 Remastered)
7. Alive and Kickin’ (early version)
8. Green-Tinted Sixties Mind (early version)
9. To Be With You (reggae version)
10. Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song) (minus guitar version)
11. Green-Tinted Sixties Mind (minus guitar version)
12. Love Makes You Strong (minus bass version)
13. Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song) (minus bass version)
Eric Martin - Vocals, Handclaps
Paul Gilbert - Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Handclaps, Backing Vocals, Electric Grill
Billy Sheehan - Bass, Six-String Bass, Handclaps, Backing Vocals, Electric Drill
Pat Torpey - Drums, Percussion, Handclaps, Backing Vocals
Record Label: evoXS


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