Record Exchange Boise

Artist: The Mavericks
Format: CD
New: IN STOCK AT OUR STORE Used: Used Items are fully guaranteed to be free from defects, and good as new.

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Drop the, er, laser needle down randomly in The Mavericks and you'll be forgiven if you think the band didn't simply go on hiatus in'99 but had been in virtual hibernation since the mid '70s. Not only has the band completely shed any lingering vestiges of nu-Country, its comeback incarnation places the Mavs four-square in Adult Contemporary pop territory.

Does the A.C. format even exist anymore? Whether or not the likes of, say, Neil Diamond and Glen Campbell appeal to your tastes, you gotta admit that the eleven songs here make a pretty convincing case for the format's longevity. From the grand sweeping drama-due in no small part to Raul Malo's emotional, almost operatic vocals-and rich orchestration of the Diamond-like "In My Dreams," to the perky, Jimmy Buffett-goes-mambo "Shine a Light," to an over-the-top cover of the Hollies' 1974 mega-smash "The Air That I Breathe," the Mavericks leave no schmaltz-stone unturned.

Maybe that's not a criticism. The album's two quote/unquote "rock" songs are also children of the '70s: the Eagles/Skynyrd pastiche "Time Goes By" (featuring guest vocals from Willie Nelson) and the Springsteen-esque "I Wanna Know." The latter, in fact, is a stunning anthem that deploys one of the Asbury Park kingpin's signature piano/guitar/organ lines then layers vocal harmonies and choruses so shamelessly irresistible you'll also be forgiven when you roll down the car windows and sing along at the top of your lungs. Kinda like it was listening to the radio thirty years ago, in fact.
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