In their original 1989-2003 run, the Mavericks achieved considerable success with an expansive approach that encompassed trad honky-tonk twang, old-school rock & roll swagger, swoony balladry, and frontman/songwriter Raul Malo's sublimely expressive singing. This reunion effort picks up where the band left off, marshaling the members' multiple strengths on such winsome tunes as the Tex-Mex two-step "Back in Your Arms Again," the chugging big-band rockabilly hybrid "As Long as There's Loving Tonight," and the exotica epic "Come Unto Me," which appears here in English and Spanish versions. Malo remains unequaled in his ability to communicate bottomless heartbreak ("Call Me When You Get to Heaven") and infectious joy ("Dance in the Moonlight"), and the musicians' chemistry asserts itself strongly, even when augmented by a raft of guest players. In Time is the best kind of band reunion, honoring and expanding the Mavericks' legacy rather than exploiting it. (1am, Antone's)
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