Album Review: The Mavericks — In Time

Henry L. Carrigan, Jr. | April 29th, 2013

mavericksintimeWith some albums, it’s easy to sit still, letting the music wash slowly over you while pondering—or rolling your eyes at—the lyrics. You can’t sit still with The Mavericks’ new album, their first studio album in ten years. In the immortal words of Steve Alaimo’s song, “Where the Action Is,” the raucous rhythms of this album get you to “dance, dance, dance, when you feel that beat/Dance, dance, dance get up off of your seat/Dance, dance, dance, let your backbone slip.” In fact, if your backbone doesn’t slip quite a few times while this album’s spinning, then you need to see a doctor.

Frontman Raul Malo’s rich tenor voice provides the foundation for this set of songs, and the tight rhythm section traverses all musical territory from rockabilly, mariachi, and Tejano to country and pop. The booming Dick Dale-like surf guitar meets the foxtrot rhythms of Desi Arnaz in the sultry call-and-response shout “Come Unto Me,” which also appears in Spanish as the album’s final track. Michael Guerra’s work on this one song alone confirms his reputation as the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion. It’s a slow, tantalizing song of seduction under a tropical moon. The doo-wop tones of “That’s Not My Name” channel Bobby Vinton’s “Mr. Lonely,” a song that would have been right at home on top-40 radio in the early Sixties. The dreamy torch ballad of love and a broken heart—the lover addresses his heart in the song, asking for its pardon for not following its desires—“Forgive Me” comes straight off the pop charts, but with the rough edge of a reverb guitar. In the dreamy waltz, “Amsterdam Moon,” the singer offers a tribute to this planet that’s watched over, led folks into, and suffered through numerous love affairs “ever since the world began.”  The blistering, twangy, rockabilly guitars of “As Long as There’s Loving Tonight” rush lovers along in an urgent frenzy, promising surrender and a glorious romp in the hay. The opening organ riff on “Back in Your Arms Again,” the can’t-sit-still opening track riff, comes straight out of ? and the Mysterians’ rockin’ “96 Tears.” Every song on this album delivers a devastating punch of energy or a haunting reflection on the need for love.

So, push the play button or drop the needle on this rollicking, raucous romp, and dance the night—or the morning, or the afternoon—away with The Mavericks.

4.5 Stars

  1. Rick
    April 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Hmmm, you’ve got my interest up in listening to the snippets of these songs on Amazon. It sounds like I just might find quite a few keepers on this one. Just a single song as good as their previous cover of “Here Comes My Baby” would be a welcome surprise.

  2. Leeann Ward
    April 29, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    I really enjoy this album. I’m glad they were able to pick things up so well.

  3. Ben Foster
    April 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    This is one of my favorite 2013 releases thus far.

  4. Byrl Johnson
    May 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Just goes to show the Mavericks were ahead of their time.
    This album is fantastic!
    And if you get the chance to see them live…SEE THEM LIVE!
    You’ll be humming tunes and drumming the steering wheel on the drive home!

  5. Jeannette
    May 13, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I just have to say how wonderful “In Time” is. My wonderful son bought the Mavericks new release and I constantly have it going. I have never heard such exceptional musicians. And…Raul’s voice is spectacular. I can honestly say every song makes you want to hear it over and over again. There is no way possible for people to say anything negative about this group.

    I am so happy for all of you and I truly hope and pray your success continues on for ever. xoxo

  6. Rosie
    May 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I Love, Love, Love every song on this CD…I purchased it in advanced and sing to every song on this CD. I was lucky enough to see them live in March 2013 and I was so glad that I knew every word to every song they played that night. What a wonderful CD, what a wonderful band. I can’t wait for their next release and of course to see them live again.

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