The last time we heard a record from The Mavericks, it was not nearly as successful as they might have hoped it would be. “Mono” reminded us why we fell in love with the band in the 1990s but did not quite bring enough new elements to keep it fresh. “Mono” was a record that tried too hard to cling to the past. However, that did not deter The Mavericks because they are back and looking towards the future with “Brand New Day.”
The Mavericks have a career spanning throughout the 1990s and most of the early 2000s. They took a hiatus in 2004 before returning in 2012. They have had no trouble landing their records at the tops of country music charts. That is not an easy feat by any means. It may be due to how unique and influential the band has been in their career. It is hard to narrow them down to just one specific genre as they are a good mix of more modern swing, pop, neo-country and Americana. They never had much trouble sticking out with their music, and the only competition they ever had was with themselves. Always trying to be better musicians is exactly what The Mavericks are going for with “Brand New Day.”
“Brand New Day” is a 10-track record that clocks in at around 39 minutes in length. From front to back, it is everything that we would expect The Mavericks’ record to be. From huge layered tracks that are easy to dance along with to slower and emotional ballads that tug on the heart strings, everything about “Brand New Day” is what fans want in a record that comes from a career as long as The Mavericks. This record feels like it belongs with some of their better ones from the 1990s, but it is so well produced that it is hard to deny this fresher sounding record belongs in the 21st century.
Musically speaking, “Brand New Day” is not that different from “Mono” on a structural level. Execution wise, there is a whole new energy about it. Right off the bat, the listeners are treated to “Rolling Along,” which is a much rounder track and not nearly as over the top as some of their previous songs from their past records. Listeners can hear just how much their Latin roots influence the tracks with the number of instruments layered into everything. With tracks like “Easy as It Seem” and “Ride With Me,” it is hard not to enjoy their unique sound and have some fun listening along to it. Rhythms are catchy, melodies are memorable and best of all it is different. The Mavericks have always been at the forefront of their genre, and that is abundantly clear with “Brand New Day”
Lyrically, The Mavericks’ songs are more like a fine wine: better with age. That could not be any clearer with “Brand New Day.” Frontman Raul Malo’s voice has not changed throughout the years, but his songwriting sure has. Tracks like “I Think Of You” and “I Will Be Yours” are the emotional ballads that are as deep as they are meaningful. There are not any surface-level tracks when it comes to this record, plus the soothing delivery of Malo’s vocals reminds the listener of a simpler time. Tracks like “Damned (If You Do)” and “Goodnight Waltz” are some of the standout tracks because of the delivery of the vocals. While not every song is a standout in their own regards, it is hard to deny that this is one strong record overall.
Should you listen to it?: Yes!
“Brand New Day” belongs with some of The Mavericks’ records from the 1990s. It is hard to compare them to any other band because quite frankly there are no other bands like The Mavericks. We must go from their own discography if we are to compare it to anything. While it outshines “Mono” and “In Time” by a mile, “Brand New Day” reminds us of an older version of The Mavericks. This time however, The Mavericks have a newer energy and outlook on their music. This record for The Mavericks is a brand new day.
Collegian reporter Alec Erickson can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @CTV_Ace.