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The Mavericks

Music For All Occasions – 1995 (MCA)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by The Mavericks

It's their fourth album, but the first with real commercial expectations. So they play it safe, and give everyone what's expected, right? Wrong! These guys aren't called The Mavericks for nothing. Oh, there are a couple of concessions to commercial radio. The leadoff single "Here Comes The Rain" borrows a bit too much from "What A Crying Shame," although it's really more of an evolution than a rip-off, with all sorts of added nuances. But to hear what most of the album, out Sept. 26, sounds like, listen to their version of "Blue Moon" on the "Apollo 13" soundtrack. Yes, it's "Roy Orbison does Dean Martin." Kids, do not try this at home! But The Mavericks pull off this unlikely concept easily. Oh, there is one sensational Cajun stomper called "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down" with some wicked Flaco Jimenez accordion.

But for the most part, even the country shuffles are laid back. Raul Malo, who co-wrote 9 of 11 songs and also co-produced, proves what an immense talent he is. The most remarkable cut is "Somethin' Stupid," done as a duet with Trisha Yearwood. These two magical vocalists, backed by deliberately cheesy accordion, turn the most wretched hit of the '60's into enchanting schmaltz that will be a staple at weddings for years to come. The album owes almost as much to Bing Crosby as it does to country, but it's still another gem for The Mavericks.