Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by spanky1, Jun 3, 2016.
Not sure what I find more disappointing/disturbing-the poor audio quality of their recent releases, or the decision to record Swingin'
As a long-time fan, it's a downer. I love their live shows, and I've seen excellent cover versions of Neil Young's HARVEST MOON and Pink Floyd's US AND THEM. They can do better than SWINGIN'.
Here's the info on the new album of covers:
The Mavericks Cover Waylon, Springsteen on New Album ‘Play the Hits’
1. “Swingin’” – John Anderson
2. “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” – Waylon Jennings
3. “Blame It on Your Heart” – Patty Loveless
4. “Don’t You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me)” – Ray Price
5. “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” – Freddy Fender
6. “Hungry Heart ” – Bruce Springsteen
7. “Why Can’t She Be You” – Patsy Cline
8. “Once Upon a Time” (feat. Martina McBride) – Marvin Gaye & Mary Wells
9. “Don’t Be Cruel ” – Elvis Presley
10. “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” – Willie Nelson
11. “I’m Leaving It Up to You” – Dale & Grace
Not a great song, that’s for sure. They needed to do something different as their last three albums sound kinda the same, though the Christmas album was quite good. But covers? I don’t know...we’ll see.
Just preordered...was hard to find on Amazon but it finally came up. One ugly album cover if you ask me. But, the band is amazing and it could be good. Really didn’t like Swingin’ though.
I'm surprised at a covers album, but we'll see. I really liked the material on MONO and IN TIME. I thought BRAND NEW DAY was pretty weak, so we'll see how this one goes. I've been a Mavericks fan since the 90's, and I am hoping(but not expecting) for the return of excellent sound quality from the MCA years. Not sure what audio sound they have been going for, but it's not exactly audio demonstration quality.
I do like their version of HUNGRY HEART by Bruce Springsteen(at least compared to the decision to record SWINGIN'). I remember how much I liked the song when it came out in 1980, but it was the last Springsteen song that I ever liked. Malo's voice is made for remake of the Freddy Fender cut, BEFORE THE NEXT TEARDROP FALLS. I'd imagine that the RAY PRICE cover will be a good one as well. I've seen video of Raul covering Elvis' LOVE ME, and would have preferred it, but maybe DON'T BE CRUEL will work.
I love the album cover as tacky as it is!
From the article I posted, they were deliberately going for a "truck stop collection" look.
And I think they succeeded! I am looking forward to it, though I wish they had selected more tunes outside of the country genre...
Here's the quote:
While the music is delivered with serious precision, the full title of the album — The Mavericks Play the Hits — nods to those bargain-bin compilations that are often for sale in convenience stores on the road. “You see those in the truck stops. ‘So-and-So Artist of Yesteryear Plays the Hits,’ and it’s some awful recording they were forced to do, and they’re selling for 3.99,” Malo laughs. “This is basically our version of that record, but hopefully with a little more care, and certainly more thought put into it.”
Hopefully The Mavericks will release another live album with improved sound quality. "All Night Live Vol 1" had a terrific track list, but sounds like a bootleg recording even if that was intentional.
Listening now on Spotify, and so far love the Patty Loveless cover!
The Mavericks are returning to Kansas City's Knuckleheads Saloon for three shows! Thursday May 7, Friday 8 and Saturday May 9.
Hopefully this is early enough notice so folks can plan to come for a weekend. With this many shows in a row, they should come up with some deep tracks.
Pretty awful, in the tradition of their previous efforts. Geez, what’s up with that? They aren’t trying to be cheap...the cover must have been expensive being die cut, and it’s nice.
So, got the covers album today. This was one of my favorite bands but they have been using up any grace I’ve given them by issuing some pretty weak, and lousy sounding albums starting with Brand New Day and that horrible bootleg sounding (as rightly described by someone else above) live album. How did that get out the door?
Listened to Play The Hits twice and I started writing this as it is now playing on my high end vinyl system for listen three, now that I can focus 0n it, after playing it on my decent system in my office while working. Yes, I want to like this! And this is why I try and listen to something by a favorite band at least three times if I don’t like it the first. Because I hated it the first time. And I’m not sure if I liked it much better on listen two. I found it down right boring if you can believe that about a Maverick’s album! The irony is that Swingers caught my ear on the second listen and I hated it when someone posted it here a few weeks ago. There are a couple others that are decent (next track, but overall it continues the, imo, rut they have been in the last five years where every album is really sounding the same and very predictable. What seems impossible is that an album of covers should do the trick if you’re in a songwriting rut, right? Not this one! If you didn’t know these songs, it would for a great part sound like just another formula Malo written album as of late. That used to be a great thing! Swingers, as much as I like it, has a verse structure that just repeats some very basic chords with a boring chorus, but Raul does his usual fun vocal run with it and it makes the song work. Would knowing these original songs help? I don’t, so I don’t know.
So, upon listen three on a nice system it’s a bit better. Swingers is still fun, but the novelty is going to wear quickly. It’s really just the typical up Malo track he easily could have written, but a tad below his better album opening tracks like the classic from Trampoline, and every other album from there. Always a strong opener, but lately down hill fast. Too bad I feel the same here. After Swingin, Are You Sure Hank is pretty fun, then we have Blame It On Your Heart, which is merely okay, and the next two are totally not memorable. You would think Next Teardrop would be tailor made for Malo and band. Nope...boring solo with sparse instrumentation. Boring as all heck. Side two starts with Bruce’s Hungry Heart. Inspired, if not dangerous, choice. Doubt you guys will like that one much. It’s just totally and disappointingly predictably done. Not bad, but not special and no reason to play it again. Why Can’t She Be You is decent. Another slow track, but nice work by the band. Once Upon A Time...we’ve heard this song a million times, just with different lyrics. Sounds like a lot of Maverick’s songs. Same chord structure he loves to write in, with a bit stronger chorus than some of his originals. Don’t Be Cruel...don’t get me started. Didn’t need to be remade. It’s okay, but is okay good enough? It’s in the same style as everything else. Meaning maybe if it was on side one instead, you wouldn’t be tired of the schtick and it would have played better. The band has some fun with it during the instrumental, but that’s a short section. I’ll stop there because it gets worse...boring even. Imo.
It’s an all right, kinda fun album for a while, but it gets old fast. These guys are out of steam. What they desperately need is for Raul to step aside and let a good producer come in. He is clearly out of ideas. They need new production ideas because the band can do it! Otherwise, they will just be an awesome live band playing their old songs. And that’s fine, they are incredible live, but I won’t be blindly buying any more of their albums unless a producer can bring in a fresh perspective.
How about closing with some positive notes. How does it sound? Much, much better! Most of it. Two of the slow Raul tracks and one with the band sound like they were clearly recorded in less than favorable circumstances, and likely at another studio...or maybe at a home studio. Cruddy. But the rest is much better! One other thing. That Christmas album from last year is dynamite, Hey Merry Christmas, especially the opening track Christmas Time and track two, Santa Does...great track! This is Raul at his best with song writing and production. On vinyl it sounds very good...maybe their best sounding album! This is better than their last three albums and shows a fresh perspective is what they need. I also suspect they tour so much perhaps they don’t have a lot of studio time, who knows, but they made a holiday album of quality that I think will be a gift that keeps bringing them cash for many a season.
So, those are my thoughts on one of my favorite bands! We all have bands we loved, and then they stayed around 2-3 albums too long. Doesn’t mean they still can’t be favs, we still have the other great albums to enjoy. But in this case, the holiday album (only a year old) shows promise they can still put out a quality album. Guys, buy that if you are a Maverick’s fan!
I've listened to it on Spotify, and for the most part I like it. Not a fan of Hungry Heart though. It seems to sound a bit better than the last few mixes (on first listen) which I found to be boomy. I understand that it is available on Qobuz (I don't have a subscription) and the usual suspects 7digital and hdtracks have yet to offer a 96/24 version). I think the covers album is a good break for Raul for the most part. I feel that he is an excellent tune-smith but he does tend to travel on the familiar roads at times.
That’s why I said he needs to bring a producer in. He has an awesome voice but everything is sounding the same. As you said, he is traveling the same roads and not taking chances. A little scary when some cover songs sound like they could have been written by the band doing them. I don’t feel any inspiration given in these songs...just a tired sound like the last couple of albums, not inc the Christmas set where they sound like they are having fun.
During these Self-distancing times...Raul has posted Covers up on YouTube a channel. Some are on a Mellotron, and others with his acoustic guitar.
That was such a unique cover. I wonder how long it will take people who don’t know what it is to recognize it.
New Spanish-language album due in August:
The Mavericks Ready Spanish Language Album 'En Espanol'
1. La Sitiera
3. No Vale la Pena
4. Poder Vivir
5. Sombras Nada Más
7. Me Olvidé de Vivir
8. Pensando en Ti
9. Sabor a Mí
10. Suspiro Azul
11. Cuando me Enamoro
12. Me Voy a Pinar del Río
That's not Michael Guerra on accordion. Hopefully he just wasn't available, although I see that he's not an "official" member of the band, but he actually predated the revival of the Mavericks, and did a remarkable Christmas show with Raul solo.
Quarantunes #27 with Raul Malo - Ventura Highway (By America)
That beats the heck out of any of the covers done on their “covers” album which I found totally uninteresting. And a spanish album? I have said they need to do something different but not exactly that. However, maybe they will find some new fans. They must absolutely hate being off the road!
Cool cover though....
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