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Raul Malo

You're Only Lonely – 2006 (Sanctuary)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Raul Malo

In the mid-Nineties, the Mavericks were a fantastic country-rock band with a unique sound, which they displayed on hits like "What a Crying Shame" and "O What a Thrill." Lead singer Raul Malo earned comparisons to Roy Orbison for his soaring tenor.

In the ensuing decade, The Mavericks continued to record and play together, and Malo has branched out to record some music on his own. But this is the first time that he's set out to record an album of classic covers, and from the beginning moments of the opening title track, it's clear that this record will be something special. "Feels Like Home," previous recorded by Linda Ronstadt, appears in two versions here - one solo and one as a duet with another great singer, Martina McBride.

Peter Asher, who produced James Taylor and Ronstadt, joined Malo for this record and does a great job. The production is mostly understated and always supportive - it never obstructs Malo's outstanding voice. The Everly Brothers' "So Sad" is a perfect example, starting with acoustic and steel guitars and building gently, but never overpowering.

All in all, this is a highly worthwhile album from one of the greatest vocal talents in music.