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Country HQ  10/15/2014          
Around The World
Anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to have seen Raul Malo live will want this album and anyone who has never seen him live should want it even more!! Around The World comes from the man who music critic Bruce Elder (SMH) referred to as “one of the greatest voices in rock” and this album is just a testament to that compliment, of which Raul has garnered many both in his solo career and during his time with the Grammy Award winning The Mavericks. Recording the album live with the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra at the Sage Gateshead as part of the annual SummerTyne Americana Festival in 2011, Raul’s voice is showcased for all to enjoy with the sublim sounds of a full orchestra behind it, adding a whole different dimension to the songs. And what songs these are, as Raul’s flawless voice adapts to each of the tracks on this album, from his own solo material such as Lucky One and Every Little Thing About You, as well as on Dance The Night Away, the only songs featured in this set from Malo’s time fronting The Mavericks. Each song lives and breathes when Raul’s vocals are fused with the orchestra, as well as a quartet of his touring band playing along, with Michael Guerras accordion adding a Tex-Mex sound to the spectrum of strings and hornn in a combination rarely heard before. The covers on this album (selected by Malo himself as he does in most of his live shows) are where the curiosities lay. On most albums released in 2012, songs like Humperdinck’s Man Without Love, Indian Love Call and the French song “Je t’appartiens”, translated into English as the popular classic, Let It Be Me, would all seem out of place. However, it’s Raul’s interpretation and passion in his delivery of these vintage cuts that makes them seem relevant all over again. Very much like the whole album, these songs are drenched in romance and sentimentality, however they are still highly enjoyable….over and over again!! Before the night is through, the crowd was treated to rousing versions of Moonlight Kiss andGuantanamera, which is rapidly becoming a staple of the Malo live show and a regular highlight in a perfect example of an artist matching a song perfectly. The evening comes to a close with a gentle and tender rendition of the albums title track, Around The World, before the curtain falls and the fans go home. But on their way home, the crowd would be either talking about the sensational performance they just witnessed, or cuddling up to someone they love in the front seat of the car, listening to the romance in Raul’s voice by the light of the moon and the glow of radio dial. Don’t try and define Raul Malo and his music. He is not country, not jazz, not rock, not easy listening – he is nearly a genre all of his own, drawing on his strong Orbison influences and mixing them his Cuban heritage. Around The World is testament to that mixture, and when backed by the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra, becomes music for all to enjoy. This is an album to share with friends, and anyone who appreciates wonderful music will thank you for it.
BZ Gringo  02/05/2011          
Raul Malo
Artist Review
As a long time fan of both Raul and the Mavericks, Saints and Sinners doesn't disappoint. This has always been difficult music to caterorize, and the influences are many. This music just puts a smile on your face and makes you feel good. The album top to bottom is solid, and again shows Raul's incredible range to deliver songs over a pantheon of genres that, well, just work.


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