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After Hours

Raul Malo

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Album Review

Raul Malo's greatest commercial success has been as lead singer with the progressive country group the Mavericks, but since launching his solo career in 2001, Malo has displayed little interest in catering to the country audience, preferring to indulge his passion for Latin sounds and retro vocal jazz. The set list on 2007's After Hours might suggest to some fans that Malo is keen on winning back the country audience, since it features ten songs made famous by the likes of Eddy Arnold, Ray Price, Hank Williams, Buck Owens, and other old-school country & western heroes. But rather than treat these tunes as relics from Nashville's noble past, on After Hours Malo honors them as standards — object lessons in great songwriting — and interprets them as swinging pop tunes (as he reimagines "Cold, Cold Heart" and "[Now and Then There's] A Fool Such As I") or polished late-night supper club laments ("Welcome to My World" and "Crying Time"). The closest thing to a clear country influence on this set is the pedal steel guitar that supports the arrangement on Roger Miller's "Husbands and Wives," but if Malo has taken these tunes out of their traditional context, there's no doubt that he's captured their heart and soul as few singers have; the sadness and desire of "For the Good Times" has rarely been communicated with the strength Malo commands in his performance, and as playful as his take of "Cold, Cold Heart" may be, he gets the essence of the song on tape with accuracy and freshness. Anyone who harbors doubts about Raul Malo's status as one of America's best contemporary vocalists will be pleasantly surprised by the craft and maturity of After Hours, and he does wonders for the classic Nashville songbook at the same time; with any luck, this will be the first in a series from Malo of classic country interpretations.

Customer Reviews

Sweet sounds that put a smile on your face...

Years ago, I started listening to a band called The Mavericks. Not by choice, mind you...it just happened to be a band that some of my mom's friends really liked. But the more I listened the more it wore on me. Alot of that had to do with the vocal stylings of Raul Malo. With his junior solo album, Raul has proven that he has just as much talent and stamina as a solo artist as he does with The Mavericks. Just a few quick samples of this album and I'm hooked. I'm very much looking forward to listening and absorbing this album as I have his last two. Anyone who listens to this album and thinks that it's boring simply doesn't get it. And there's plenty of variety on Raul's album. With Raul, the art is in the delivery and the song writing. Very few singers can produce the kind of perfection and tender sound that he delivers. Anyone who cannot hear that simply doesn't know what good music is really all about. Which is a shame...because they just don't know what they are missing! ;)

Bewitching voice...

Raul Malo's has a way with a song...every emotion is conveyed with such engaging sincerity. That voice, his choice of material, fabulous band and clean production make this collection a pure joy. With all due respect to those who sang these lovely songs before him, I can't go back! The unexpected 'swing' to "Cold Cold Heart', the sweetness in "You Can Depend On Me', the achingly lovely rendition of 'Husbands and Wives"... No other voice can convey the promise of love and the heartache of loss as beautifully.

Tremendous

Absolutely perfect. Words cannot describe his amazing voice

Biography

Born: August 7, 1965 in Miami, FL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Originally making his mark in the country music world and then slipping into the Latin and jazz arenas via rock & roll, Raul Malo has proven to be an ever-expanding musical talent. Malo, born in Miami of Cuban parents, started playing bass guitar in high school and soon found his way into several small bands. In 1987, he made his first recording with the Basics, and one song, "Paperheart," appeared on the promotional album Unsigned. While the album wasn't a success, the experience whet Malo's...
Full Bio
After Hours, Raul Malo
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Customer Ratings

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