Mr. BIG – Bump Ahead [Japanese Remastered SHM-CD LTD Release +3] Out Of Print
Many asked to complete the MR. BIG four first albums Japanese campaign from some years ago, Remastered on SHM-CD and with bonus tracks, now out of print. “Bump Ahead“, Mr. Big’s third effort, is, in my book, their masterpiece.
After the success of the previous album and its world-wide hit To Be With You, it would be easy for Mr. Big to follow a formula. They did it half part, but also giving room for their incredible musicianship and expansice songwriting.
Where album number 2 Lean Into It perfected the sound the band started on their first album, “Bump Ahead” adds to it, musically, more progression.
The sounds are beefier and fatter, with Billy Sheehan’s bass playing taking more of a dominant role – a welcomed thing when we are talking about the greatest rock bassist on the scene.
“Bump Ahead” blends like few Melodic Hard Rock albums heavy kick-ass hard rockers with commercial, glossy AOR numbers plenty of melody.
It has a lot of awesome, catchy songs, and it also has some of the most super technical, coordinated parts in rock and metal music history.
The best example of great musicality, catchy lyrics through clean vocals and an unreachable level of technique and coordination without losing style or sound, is the album opener, “Colorado Bulldog”. Catchy, with a prominent bass line and a monster guitar work, this song kick some serious ass.
Nearly as impressive is the next, the uptempo, melodic scorcher “Price You Gotta Pay”.
However are the velvety AOR cuts like “Promise Her The Moon” (one of the greatest ballads ever), the perfect melody of “Nothing But Love”, the pearl “Ain’t Seen Love Like That” and the cover “Wild World” that’ll, after repeated plays, have you humming.
Then there’s the songs where Mr. Big explore new territories on this album mixing the best of both worlds; the attitude-laced “What’s It Gonna Be”, the ‘progressive’ “Mr. Gone” (fantastic melody) or the groovy ‘Temperamental’.
Oh and there’s the hidden diamond on this CD, the cover of Free’s “Mr Big”, the song which gives the band’s name. I love this track, the way it is arranged and performed, that bass groove and guitar riff shuffle… killer.
It’s nice when a band isn’t afraid to move forward. It’s nice, too, when that forward motion leaves the fans pleased. And this is what “Bump Ahead” resumes.
I said in the previous Lean Into It review ‘it’s a classic, an almost perfect melodic hard rock album… “, well, “Bump Ahead” completes the circle, it is a perfect melodic hard rock album.
This Japanese remaster is pure gold delivering a full bright sound, plus three bonus tracks. Btw, did I mentioned that Mr. Big albums have some of the best cover artworks ever?
A Must Have.
Warner Music Japan ~ WPCR-13464
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01 – Colorado Bulldog
02 – Price You Gotta Pay
03 – Promise Her The Moon
04 – What’s It Gonna Be
05 – Wild World
06 – Mr. Gone
07 – The Whole World’s Gonna Know
08 – Nothing But Love
09 – Temperamental
10 – Ain’t Seen Love Like That
11 – Mr. Big
12 – Long Way Down (Original Japanese Bonus track)
SHM-CD Bonus Tracks:
13 – Ain’t Seen Love Like That (Early version)
14 – Mr. Big (Demo)
Eric Martin – lead vocals
Paul Gilbert – guitar, backing vocals
Billy Sheehan – bass guitar, backing vocals
Pat Torpey – drums, backing vocals
Little John Chrisley – harmonica on “Price You Gotta Pay”
OUT OF PRINT