Artist: The Mavericks
Label: Big Machine
Release Date: 02.17.2015
Recording and mixing an album in mono? In 2015? Well yes, and I think it turned out great. The wonderfully simple lyrics and tempo of their music gave the Mavericks the idea to do just that. The mono mix produced just what Raul Malo wants the listener to get from their music: a vibe, a feeling. Theirs isn’t music that fits a category like Cuban music, world music, or Latin music. Malo wants it to be music that makes you feel something. The mono mix helped it to do just that. Interestingly, the album is as close to a live show as I have experienced. At least, I get the same feeling.
Talking about music categories, on Mono, I hear music that sounds very much like jitterbug music from the Fifties. The album starts off with the Cuban-sounding “All Night Long” and moves into “Summertime” and yes, I did dance around the room a bit. Listening to “Pardon Me,” I can just feel those slow songs being played at the dance that gave you a chance to hold your lady tight. “”Stories We Could Tell” hits the groove again and might have you doing a few Chubby Checker twist moves—you know, those moves keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden does all night long on stage. “Let It Rain” takes the tempo down again and the simple, straight forward lyrics come through strong on the mono mix. Love it. “(Waiting For) The World To End” kicks things back to high speed—very Latin, a sort of Tex-Mex beat that will again get things going hard again on the dance floor.
If you like music that makes you feel a vibe and gets your feet, arms, legs, and head moving, this album is for you.
– Mark J. Smith