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Actual Size

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Album Review

When guitarist Paul Gilbert exited Mr. Big in 1997, fans wondered if the technically high-skilled pop-metal band was over. But instead of calling it a day, Mr. Big enlisted brief Poison member Richie Kotzen to take the place of Gilbert, and issued a pair of albums — 2000's Get Over It and what turned out to be their final release, 2001's Actual Size. Despite numerous musical styles coming and going since their self-titled debut arrived in 1989, Mr. Big admirably stood their ground stylistically, as Actual Size manages to retain their early arena rock sound while also fitting in with modern-day mainstream rock. This approach is best sampled on such tracks as "Shine" (which was supposedly a hit in the land where Mr. Big continue to reign supreme — Japan) and the album opener, "Lost in America." And it just wouldn't be a Mr. Big album without a power ballad, and here it comes in the form of "Nothing Like It in the World" — a track that seems custom-made for either Meat Loaf or Michael Bolton. As evidenced by Actual Size, Mr. Big stuck to their guns till the very end.


Formed: 1988

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Mr. Big were one of the few "shredder" pop metal bands (translation: the bandmembers were highly proficient at their instruments) that prized songcraft as highly as virtuosity. The seeds for the group's formation were sown when bass player extraordinaire Billy Sheehan, often called "the Eddie Van Halen of bass," left David Lee Roth's solo band in 1988. Shortly thereafter, he began piecing together a new outfit comprised of former Racer X guitarist Paul Gilbert, drummer Pat Torpey, and singer Eric...
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Actual Size, Mr. Big
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