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Today
     

Today

4.2 4
by Raul Malo
 
The Mavericks' experiments in tropical rhythms flower beautifully on singer Raul Malo's solo debut, Today. Malo digs deep into his Cuban-American heritage for inspiration, coupling the past and the present to create an album that is accessible, daring, and always full of life. Malo sings four songs in Spanish, but it's not

Overview

The Mavericks' experiments in tropical rhythms flower beautifully on singer Raul Malo's solo debut, Today. Malo digs deep into his Cuban-American heritage for inspiration, coupling the past and the present to create an album that is accessible, daring, and always full of life. Malo sings four songs in Spanish, but it's not necessary to know the language to understand the go-for-it energy fueling the texts. Even most of the English-language songs are steeped in Latinalia: big, brassy horn and reed passages; pulsating percussion; wild, flailing guitars; and rambunctious piano glissandos. Desi Arnaz made great records with this formula in the late '40s and early '50s, and Malo, who has the huge advantage of that big, booming, soulful, Orbison-like voice, is a worthy candidate to develop a commercially successfully fusion of Latin and pop that does justice to both styles without watering down either -- although purists will inevitably disagree. "Today," "I See You," "Every Little Thing," and "Ya Tu Veras," the first four songs, set the pace, the first and fourth being strictly high-octane, hard-charging, sacroiliac-endangering dance-floor challenges, the second and third being, respectively, dreamy and desperate romantic interludes. This is songwriting of the highest caliber, every element in its proper place to allow Malo free rein to extend himself emotionally. A duet with Shelby Lynne on the vibrant, jazzy "It Takes Two to Tango" is one of the sexiest duets laid down in years, Lynne's smoky sensuality being the perfect foil for Malo's comedic macho posturing. Fans of Malo's full-voiced balladry are not left adrift here: "Let's Say Goodbye," a piano-vocal track supported by lush strings, will get the tears flowing with its wrenching plea for a second chance at love. Today's got it all, and then some. Raul Malo is a juggernaut.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
From the start, it was obvious that the Mavericks were comprised of a more interesting variety of flavors than most C&W hitmakers, and by the time they released Trampoline in 1998, the band had evolved from an eclectic country-accented outfit into an adventurous adult pop group willing to dip their toes into practically anything. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that Raul Malo's first solo album doesn't have a single country bone in its body, but not everyone might have expected Malo to walk so boldly in a single direction. Malo began exploring his Cuban musical heritage with a few Latin-flavored numbers on the Mavericks' Music for All Occasions and Trampoline, and on Today he steeps himself in Latin rhythms, from the fiery dance groove of the title track and the sensuous tension of "Every Little Thing" to the jazzy sway of "Ya Tu Veras" (four of the album's 12 cuts are sung in Spanish, and Malo's estimably rich voice communicates beautifully in either tongue). Today bears more than a few hallmarks of Malo's earlier work along the way; the sly humor that marked the Mavericks' best work is evident in a playful duet with Shelby Lynne on "It Takes Two to Tango," his Roy Orbison-esque way with a ballad doesn't escape him on "Let's Not Say Goodbye," and Malo's fondness for lounge jazz takes the place of his Latin sounds on the closing track, "Since When." In terms of style and approach, Today isn't what most people might expect from Raul Malo, but one listen makes it clear the man has a great voice, sure instincts, and talent to spare -- and anyone who has ever listened to his music ought to be well-aware of that.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/23/2001
Label:
Higher Octave
UPC:
0724381113622
catalogNumber:
11136

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Raul Malo   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Shelby Lynne   Vocals
Steve Berlin   Organ,Baritone Saxophone
Pedro Eustache   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Danilo Lozano   Flute
Michito Sánchez   Percussion
Ramon Stagnaro   Guitar
Arturo Velasco   Trombone
Billy West   Background Vocals
Bob Roman   Background Vocals
Ruben Estrada   Drums,Timbales
Alberto Salas   Piano
Pablo Mendez   Strings,Violin
Jaime Hanna   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Luis Eric González   Trumpet
Rene Camacho   Bass,Background Vocals
Michael Guerra   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Steve Berlin   Producer
Raul Malo   Producer
Matt Marshall   Executive Producer
Dave McNair   Engineer
Dan Selene   Executive Producer
Greg Ross   Art Direction
S. "Husky" Hoskulds   Engineer
Alberto Salas   Arranger,Producer
Richard Barron   Engineer
Dave Glover   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Today 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can you say? Latin rhythms with horns, a great voice. Blows the faux Latin music explosion out of the water. Great party music and should be a good one to have playing in the background in a bar.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"let's not say goodbye anymore" says it all!i just love the full range and style of that song...god bless and great job!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would challenge you to listen to "I Said I Love You" and not dance around and sing along - this is worthy Malo material, each song infused with Latin rhythms and soulfulness. . .each song right on emotionally, whether its the brassy horns on the title track jolting you awake or the wistfulness of 'Are We Almost There?' Critics always say that Malo's voice is reminiscent of Roy Orbison, but as a woman I have to say that while Orbison's ethereal quality is lovely in its own way, Malo's more overt maleness in his vocals does it for me, and the songs sung in Spanish make me want to practice my Spanish lessons. . .in fact, maybe I'll take Latin dance lessons, too. . .
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great sound - great beat - great lyrics. Bet you're up and dancing around before the first tracks ends!