Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
The Mavericks are the best party band around. That is not meant in any way to trivialize their music, it is just that I defy anyone to listen to a Mavericks’ record and not feel good. I think it may be impossible. Brand New Day is The Mavericks’ ninth studio album. It explores some different genres other than just country and Tejano. They play some salsa, samba, and even some big band in addition to the country and Tex Mex sound that they are known for. Raul Malo, the lead singer, has one of those million dollar voices. If he wasn’t singing for The Mavericks, Malo could have easily had a career singing standards like Michael Buble. Lucky for us, he chose to branch out.
Brand New Day is like a bag of jellybeans. There are many different flavors, but whichever one you pick out, you come out a winner. Instead of cherry, grape, and buttered popcorn, we have jazz, swing, country, salsa, and Tex Mex. A very satisfying bag indeed.
Brand New Day (Track 2) sounds like a Righteous Brothers song. Malo’s voice is so smooth it covers you like the best bowl of soup your ever had. This song was made to be danced to. It is more mature than the music I normally gravitate to, but a little variety is good. If this were the 70s when terrestrial radio reigned supreme, this song would be a number one hit for weeks. It definitely has that feeling to it. It may not make number one, but it will be around for a while.
If you like the slow dances, Goodnight Waltz (Track 5) is perfect for that moonlit, romantic night of dancing. It is a slower number, but Malo delivers it with the precision and grace of Bennet, Martin, and Sinatra. Absolutely stunning. The kind of song that makes you start crying and you are not even sure why. His voice is so powerful, it pulls the emotions right out of you.
I don’t think I can say enough good things about Brand New Day. It is a classic. I don’t have to wait to say that. It has all the makings already, and I am pretty confident. This maybe one of the best albums of the last ten years. Could be a contender for top 20 ever, but that may be jumping the gun. Either way, this is one not to pass up.