Black Music Matters Festival

Raul Malo

Hello Again – 2008 (Concord)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Raul Malo is a singer's singer, a rarity in our image-conscious music world. And while he's long since given up on being strictly a country singer (if he ever even was one in the first place), Malo has always been blessed with the sort of Roy Orbison-esque voice that all true country fans can appreciate. "Hello Again" is a five-song EP preview of Malo's upcoming full-length CD, but to paraphrase an old Smokey Robinson song, sometimes a taste of Malo is worse than none at all because this brief snippet leaves the listener wanting more - much more.

Malo worked with Steve Berlin once again on this project, and that sax man's Los Lobos influence is especially during the live version of Every Little Thing about You, a Latin slow-burner. There is also a concert take on I Said I Love You. So Beautiful, on the other hand, finds Malo applying some Beatles flavor to music, and it's quite nice.

If you're the kind of person that can walk along a buffet table and just sample small tastes of a few things, you have a personality suited to appreciate this latest Malo effort. The rest of us will be left with grumbling tummies.