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The Mavericks

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A rich m‚lange of country, Latin-tinged sounds, pop-rock, Stax-style R&B, and classic American popular music, Trampoline is a towering work. Led by the breathtaking vocal prowess of alt-country sensation Raul Malo, who has dashed early Roy Orbison comparisons and staked out his own singular turf as a singer, songwriter, and bandleader, the Mavericks combine bravura soloing with production flourishes of epic grandeur. The band's sophisticated arrangements pack swelling horns, multitracked vocals, tight ensemble playing, and blistering into Malo's emotionally charged and classically constructed songs. The multitalented Malo sings of love and yearning (the devastating rocker "I Should Know," the swoon-inducing ballad "Dream River"), of heartbreak and devotion, of love lost and then renewed ("I've Got This Feeling," with its devastating coda and key shift at the close). On the jazzy saloon song, "Fool # 1", Malo chronicles heartbreaking loneliness, slipping into a persuasive Sinatra-style croon as he laments his romantic mishaps. Trampoline reveals its secrets incrementally, its riches becoming more apparent with each new listening. More important, its message is to live life to the hilt, take the sour with the sweet and then press on, remembering that to love unconditionally is the only way to love. The sum of the parts equals a major event. David McGee

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