Review Summary: It feels good to go back.
Mr. Big is a band I recently got back into because I was tired of listening to the mainstream rock music of today's standards. Three Days Grace, Saliva, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, they all get on my ****in' nerves and I yawn at their mediocre attempts at so-called music making
. I'm just getting so sick and tired of today's bland, uninspired music that shows absolutely no heart and they all try to be edgy
by singing about this negative bull**** that is just meant to keep the young teenage boy at home with his head faced down. Surely there's some great music nowadays that may aim for that kind of stuff, Sevendust for instance, but it's nice to turn away from it all once in a while. Push aside the poison and here's the cure: Lean Into It
is a wonderful blast from a carefree past.
If you're looking for motivation, look no further because this album is spectacularly upbeat and is always a pleasure to listen to. Filled with catchy lyrics, the album opens with the awesome "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy", a song that may make you question your mind: "Everything you're looking for / You can find in me / Your daddy / Your brother / Your lover and your little boy"
... kind of weird hearing this in today's politically correct world. But, it's the kind of song that's well-intentioned and is not meant to be taken seriously. It all works because of its spectacularly tight musicianship, example being some well-placed, attention-grabbing drum beats before the chorus plays out.
Largely, however, the album works 100% of the way because it's just so much fun. That's basically the summary of this entire album: it's fun to listen to.
The band itself feels like an incredible mix between Huey Lewis and the News and Van Halen, and the mix shows in the track "Alive and Kickin'"; which is the longest track on the record at 5 and a half minutes. The song is a breeze to listen to with catchy riffs during the mid-section and one of the catchiest rock choruses I've ever heard: "Jump into the fire / Keep our love alive and kickin'!"
. It's the kind of song that lives up to its title in the best way possible.
"Just Take My Heart" appears in the second half of the album and it's a very peaceful and sincere song in it's speaking of true love that's falling loose. It features an intro that sounds similar to Michael Jackson's astounding "Man In The Mirror" with an atmospheric hum from the lead vocalist Eric Martin. Speaking of the lead vocalist, one interesting thing I noticed while listening to this track is that Eric Martin sounds very similar to Sixx:A.M.'s James Michael. The similarities are almost uncanny when listening to both "Just Take My Heart" and "Accidents Can Happen" (by Sixx:A.M.) side-by-side. Who knows, maybe Sixx:A.M. took a little inspiration from Mr. Big?
With a sense of originality and familiarity, Mr. Big succeeds in making a largely successful rock album. Lean Into It
is simply a joy to listen to. Some may find it a bit cheesy, but it's that sense of nostalgia that makes it all worth it. Ending on a track like "To Be With You" was a nice choice because it brings to mind the romantic movies of the 80s like Dirty Dancing
and Pretty in Pink
. Like those movies, this album is very sweet and simple in the finest way imaginable.