At 12 tracks (four new), this is more Cliff's Notes than studied retrospective. Still, drawing from their four MCA LPs, it's a good review of The Mavericks' fetching fusion of country, rock, cosmopolitan pop and the Latin sounds of their native Miami.
Lead singer Raul Malo and his bandmates display dazzling flexibility on original songs ranging from '50's-styled weepers ("This Broken Heart") to bigger-than-life power ballads ("What a Crying Shame" "Here Comes the Rain" "I Should Have Been True") to honky-tonk (" There Goes My Heart") and border rock ("All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down"). Aided by producer Don Cook, they deftly mix an electric country base with touches of Mariachi guitar, 12-string Rickenbacker and Cuban horns, yet never lose their own unique signature.
Among the four new tracks are a wonderful throwback to the band's early sound, "Things I Cannot Change," and an amped-up cover of Don Rich's "Think of Me (When You're Lonely)." A version of Cat Stevens' "Here Comes My Baby" is sweet, though overproduced compared to The Tremeloes' 1967 hit, and Malo's sole new composition, "Pizziricco," rounds out the disc with a bouncy ode to his child.This Mercury debut provides a solid introduction for Mavericks neophytes - best listened to in reverse order, due to the inverse chronological sequencing. The value is a bit slimmer for those already stocked with the band's catalog.