We’re only just putting together our top releases of 2010 and already an early contender for next year’s best of the best has emerged! Mr Big teased us with a terrific live record Back To Budokan last year and now they’re ready to unleash their first studio album in a decade – and it rocks. Rich in retro 70s sounds with Paul Gilbert’s signature riffs What If… picks up where Black Country Communion left off. And we’re predicting that both bands will be sharing the same stage very soon.

Classy singer Eric Martin sounds like Glenn Hughes’ even more soulful brother on the blinding Nobody Takes The Blame and the fabulous American Beauty is pure Burn-era Deep Purple.

In fact we’ve been struggling to find fault with what is a simply sensational return to form from the band which brought us the uber-ballad To Be With You and follow-up Just Take My Heart as hair metal reached its perm-fuelled peak in the early 90s.

Gilbert’s main solo on As Far As I Can See is one of the most magical pieces of fret work we’ve heard in years but his touches of six-string class are evident throughout What If…

We’ll be bringing you a full review just as soon as the record is due for release and get ready for an exclusive Mr Big interview here very soon!