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Eric Martin I'm Goin' Sane Frontiers FRCD 126
Track Listing
· My Disease (1)
· Spaceman
· Goin' Sane (3)
· Free Of It
· Marie (4)
· There Goes The Neighborhood
· Carnival Of Souls
· Untouchable (2)
· Bigger Man
· Who Am I Supposed To Be?
· Everyday
· Only A Moment*
· Just What I Needed* (5)

(*) Best Tracks

Album Details
· Produced By: Eric Martin
· Running Time: 52.47
· Release Date: Augsut 26
· Released: EU
· Genre: Hard Rock
· WebLink: Eric Martin
· LabelLink: Frontiers

Discography & (Rank)
· Sucker For A Pretty Face (4)
· Eric Martin (2)
· I'm Only Fooling Myself (3)
· Somewhere In The Middle (5)
· I'm Going Sane (1)

Discography / Compilations
· Soul Sessions - The Capitol Years

Review
This is the long awaited European release of Eric's classy new solo album.
Anyone that complains of this album being too modern haven't listened to it enough. Yes, the sound is updated and yes, it has modern rock touches and a punk feel to some tracks. But it also has a ton of class and some great melodic songs.
Spend a little time with it - the more you do, the better it gets.
For this version, the two Japanese bonus tracks are gone, replced with 2 brand new tracks.
My rating from the original review remains the same - as the two new tracks are just as good as the originals and the bulk of the great album remains the same.

Most should know that I am a long time Eric Martin fan, both as a solo artist and as singer for Mr. Big.
But even I can be disappointed, as I was by a couple of Mr. Big's middle period albums and mostly by Eric's last solo album - which was classy, but way to soft and polite for my liking.
So I spent several weeks looking forward to this album, but with doubts in the back of my mind as to just how good it would be. After all, Mr. Big had returned only some months ago with a fabulous album that restored a lot of faith for me, but would this solo album do the same?
All that and more! This album totally rocks and has definitely caught me off guard with just how good it is and indeed, just how hard Eric rocks.
Not even on his early records has Eric been so outwardly aggressive in his singing, so I must place this alongside Mr. Big's Actual Size as two of the best albums Eric has been involved in.
Taking his own San Francisco based solo band into the writing and recording sessions for this album, Eric has emerged as a force to be reckoned with, proving that there will indeed be life after Mr. Big (should they permanently disband).
This album may not appeal to the wider fans base of Mr. Big, as it is more in your face than they have been in a long time and style wise is a momentous jump into modern rock territory.
Armed with classy songs and a voice in remarkable touch, Eric proves that he can be as contemporary as those like the Goo Goo Dolls or Marvelous 3.
That's right, this CD is both melodic styled modern hard rock, and punkish rock n roll with a strong commercial edge.
It's just great to Eric breaking out on his own and rocking harder than ever. Together with that last Mr. Big album, Eric has recorded two melodic rock gems and I recommend this as highly as I did the Mr. Big record.
I'll rate it the exact same rating to that of Actual Size. There is no difference in quality, rather it will be down to personal tastes which appeals most to you, if not both. Both rock, but this has a modern edge - Mr. Big was more classic style.

Track By Track
The album gets off to a rocking start, leaving no misunderstanding what's to come. My Disease is a heavy modern rocker featuring distorted guitar, effects channelled vocals in the verses and an aggressive edge not heard in Eric's voice before. This is right in your face and the chorus, as tough as it sounds, is highly memorable as is the song itself. The song changes paths as it goes, but is a fine way to kick start the album.
Spaceman is a little less intense, but still features a modern feel with a punkish delivery. The uptempo rocker runs through pretty quickly, but is still very catchy.
Goin' Sane is more commercial and supports a more familiar sound to classic Mr. Big and Martin fans. Still, it's very much guitar driven in the same in your face style as the rest of the album. The chorus is classic Eric Martin at his catchy anthem best. One of the album's best tracks.
Free Of It features a drum loop intro, briefly making one question what's to follow. But despite the effect that acts as a foundation to the song, the guitar still kicks in and the chorus sounds like it could have come from the last Mr. Big album, just with a modern edge.
Marie is pure punk rock! This frantically paced punk rock is a whole lotta fun and showcases another angle to Eric's musical personality. Punk and modern rock driven, but still very catchy.
There Goes The Neighborhood is a change of pace. Things are relaxed a little for this easier going pop rocker with a slightly earthy feel - might be that organ they use!
Carnival Of Souls is a little more straight ahead, this mid-tempo rocker goes through the paces ok, but doesn't feature a great chorus.
Untouchable sounds hot from the first lick. Just when the album seemingly needed a kick along, this track plants one firmly in the ass! This track rocks and features one of the album's best choruses and will appeal more so to long time fans of Eric. A classic hard rocker and maybe the album's best track.
Bigger Man is ballad time. And can you believe it took until track 9 for the first ballad to be rolled out? A far cry from the last solo album! The song features an occasional female co-lead vocal and is Eric doing his best soulful mid-tempo pop.
It's time to rock again with the funked up, mid-tempo, organ drenched Who Am I Supposed To Be. This is classic Mr. Big from any era. Could have come straight off the last album, or any other for that matter. The most Mr. Big-ish track of the album.
Everyday closes the regular form of the album, in fine Eric Martin sentimental acoustic pop style. One of Eric's better ballads in recent years.
Only A Moment is a happy go lucky punk-pop rocker. It flows along with a jangly guitar riff and a cool chorus hook.
Just What I Needed is a cover of the classic Cars track. The guys have done the original proud, with an excellent version that retains both the class of the original and the modern rock sound of this album. Very cool and a lot of fun.

Points Summary - The Bottom Line
Near faultless performance and killer songs. Eric's songwriting buddy Andre Pessis has a hand in 10 of the album's songs, so you know it's always going to contain hooks, melodies and great choruses, despite the more aggressive, modern touch applied through the musical interpretation of the songs.
Good profile featured artowrk, a value for money running time that doesn't run too long and perfect sequencing, with the first half of the album flying by and the few softer tracks positioned towards the end of the album.

Buy it if you liked:
Mr. Big - Actual Size
Marvelous 3 - Ready Sex Go
Goo Goo Dolls - A Boy Named Goo

Line Up
· Eric Martin: Vocals
· Mark Holley: Guitar
· Denise Martin: Drums
· Mark Chole: Bass
· Paul Dorr: Guitar

96
Points

Songwriting
38

Performance
24

Production
19

Sequencing
5

Running Time
5

Artwork
5

Available
Points
Songwriting:
40
Performance:
25
Production:
20
Sequencing:
5
Running Time:
5
Artwork:
5

Purchase



12/08/03: Dani - danizs2003@yahoo.es
Rating: 40
For me, this is not a good album at all. This is modern pop-rock that I've never liked neither enjoyed. I like AOR and melodic rock, and this is, in my opinion, the opposite. And, there is something that people donīt care, but a real AOR fan do, and it is: THE GUITAR SOLOS, where are they!!??

03/07/03: Jareth Grealish - rawkerdude@comcast.net
Rating: 92
Wow...I knew this album would be good, but damn! This is one solid effort from start to finish. Eric really struts his stuff throughout this disc as both a singer and a songwriter. I wouldn't call it nu breed, but he does indeed visit that playground here and there. I think that it's a very diverse album showing Eric's ability to write and perform several different rock styles ranging from the modern Fuel-like "My Disease" to the almost Motown-esque "Bigger Man." After listening to this several times, I'm kicking myself for not making the two hour drive to North Jersey to see him last year.

My only gripe is the guitar tone. After Paul and Richie, the guitar sound on this album doesn't quite live up to those cats. However, I'm sure Eric very intentionally steered clear of Paul and Richie's tonal territory.

All in all, I highly recommend this for fans of Mr. Big and just good rock music in general.

08/01/03: Mark Powell - Mark.powell@isc-uk.co.uk
Rating: 80
I am confused why people keep on about Erics Nu breed direction!
This is not comtemporary and neither are the Goo Goo Dolls or The Marv3(3 very different bands/Styles).
This is good old fashioned rock,with a side order of pop as usual.
Getting to the album.....This is a solid release but not in my personal opinion as good as Mr Big's "actual size" because of the songs and vocal melodies.It has nothing to do with the recording and tuning etc.
I found 7 tracks out of the 13 that worked for me but as a whole this is easy listening.
The big let down for me was the production quality.I think its better to bring in a fresh set of ears than go it alone.
How MR.Com gave a 97% mark i will never know.
Anyway...Its got some great songs so enjoy it for what it is.
As great as Erics voice is,it does not sound contempory today.
Im sure he knows this.Its about time everybody else did.
Remember its 2002 not 1982 and for better or worse music will keep on changing.

19/10/02: Randy - bubbabeans101@hotmail.com
Rating: 99
I picked this CD up at an Eric Martin show last month. Got it autographed and hung with him a little. He's cool as hell. Not a bad track on the disc either. My current favorites are "My Disease", "There Goes the Neighborhood", and "Bigger Man" - but the entire thing rocks.

28/09/02: Leyland Lobo - leyland.lobo@bmg.com
Rating: 95
I was originally disappointed when I got this CD, because I had been expecting more of "Somewhere in the middle"(an album I love alot). However, the more you listen to this the more you like it and eventually love it. With Eric, it's always been about his melodic voice and it doesn't matter what he sings, it will alway have melody. Sure there are a couple of tracks I could do without, but overall this is one of my top 3 for the year.

19/09/02: Figge - anderssonfigge@hotmail.com
Rating: 82
Once again I must say, the highlights on the album are very good but there are too many fillers. If the whole album had the class of the best tracks it would be extremely good, but sadly it is NOT. Eric Martin has a very good voice and a cool vocal style. Songs like MY DISEASE and MARIE are great, but I have to say that the best songs are the bonus tracks FLY from the Japan issue and the Cars-cover JUST WHAT I NEEDED from this European release. I love those tracks, more of that and it would be great!

17/09/02: Lukas - capricornos@email.cz
Rating: 90
A cadillac ride with the boys without this album?...Impossible! Way to go, Eric, I'm goin' insane!

02/09/02: Ignacio - jigutierrez1@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
Eric MArtin.. What more can you ask for? I heard the japanese copy and i have to say that there are three stand out cuts that for me are classic :my disease (absolutely obsessive), bigger man (incredible ballad) and fly (very catchy too), the rest for me it is ok (untouchable, everyday, goin' sane)
he can rock , he can do ballads ... what's the problem?? :-)

27/08/02: freddy de keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 55
For me this is a big disappointment, just like Harem Scarem and Honeymoon suite were. Why ? Because Eric is not talented ? No, sure not, but because he has also jumped on the nu-breed bandwagon and for that reason this album sound far too modern for me, this is not classic AOR or melodic rock. Some may have another opinion, but personally I have little respect for bands changing their style so drastically.
I always try to be honest,and I know every artist does the best job he can, but this is so weak and disappointing for a pure AOR fan, that it is difficult to describe my feelings. In all honesty, not my cup of tea at all !!


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