12 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Raul Malo has a wide reach as a singer — his deeply-expressive voice can be applied to country, rock, Latin and Vegas pop with equal facility, and he delves into all of these styles on Lucky One, his first album of new tunes in eight years. Like Roy Orbison, the former Mavericks lead vocalist is capable of both tremulous sensitivity and near-operatic grandeur. Over the years, he’s cultivated his image as an arch romantic with a knowingly retro sense of style. These qualities are present on Lucky One, infusing songs like “Something Tells Me,” “Hello Again,” and “Crying for You” with palpable longing. Just when he risks taking himself too seriously, Malo serves up kitschy fare like “Moonlight Kiss” or “You Always Win,” setting his inner lounge crooner free. At times, these tracks sound a bit generic — “Haunting Me” is Elvis-goes-Latin, “Lonely Hearts” is ‘60s-ish Tex-Mex rock and so forth. At his best, though, Malo transcends his reference points and achieves something unique, as on the stately “One More Angel” and the luminous “So Beautiful.” Lucky One’s tunes might not all be of the same standard, but the excellence of Malo’s voice is never in doubt.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Raul Malo has a wide reach as a singer — his deeply-expressive voice can be applied to country, rock, Latin and Vegas pop with equal facility, and he delves into all of these styles on Lucky One, his first album of new tunes in eight years. Like Roy Orbison, the former Mavericks lead vocalist is capable of both tremulous sensitivity and near-operatic grandeur. Over the years, he’s cultivated his image as an arch romantic with a knowingly retro sense of style. These qualities are present on Lucky One, infusing songs like “Something Tells Me,” “Hello Again,” and “Crying for You” with palpable longing. Just when he risks taking himself too seriously, Malo serves up kitschy fare like “Moonlight Kiss” or “You Always Win,” setting his inner lounge crooner free. At times, these tracks sound a bit generic — “Haunting Me” is Elvis-goes-Latin, “Lonely Hearts” is ‘60s-ish Tex-Mex rock and so forth. At his best, though, Malo transcends his reference points and achieves something unique, as on the stately “One More Angel” and the luminous “So Beautiful.” Lucky One’s tunes might not all be of the same standard, but the excellence of Malo’s voice is never in doubt.

TITLE TIME

More By Raul Malo