The Mavericks


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MCA/Universal has launched a midline-priced series of "best-of" compilations under the blanket title Icon, and versatile country-pop outfit the Mavericks are one of the many acts who've had a dozen or so of their hits assembled onto a disc for the series. Icon is the ninth collection drawn from the Mavericks' back catalog to be issued by MCA/Universal (pretty impressive for a band that only released six studio albums), and if you have one of the earlier hits collections (particularly the band-assembled Super Colossal Smash Hits of the 90's or the double-disc Gold), you won't need this set, which avoids rarities or unreleased material. But if you'd like a 44-minute reminder of why the Mavericks were one of the very best mainstream country acts of 1990s, Icon does the job splendidly, featuring most of the Mavericks' biggest hits and highlighting their tight, lively arrangements; their eclectic vision that embraced classic country, vintage pop, rock & roll, and Latin styles; some excellent songwriting (as well as their fine taste in covers); and the vocals of Raul Malo, probably the closest thing to Roy Orbison to appear on country or rock radio in the 1990s. Icon isn't the best or most complete Mavericks collection you can buy, but all 12 tunes here are winners and if you want an overview of their biggest hits or an introduction to the band's work, this disc isn't a bad way to go.

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