O What a Thrill: An Introduction to the Mavericks conspicuously avoids the phrase "greatest hits" in its title, and for a good reason: This collection appears to consciously avoid most of the group's best-known songs, instead focusing on some of the lesser-known gems in the group's catalog. Featuring material from all the group's first six albums, O What a Thrill does an admirable job of capturing the eclectic spirit of the Mavericks, ranging from the honky tonk stomp of "Hey Good Lookin'," the jazzy countrypolitan mood of "Foolish Heart," the country-rock shuffle of "All That Heaven Will Allow," and the pure pop melody of "I Don't Even Know Your Name." On this set, the Mavericks cover a lot of bases and cover their territory admirably well, with Raul Malo's superb vocals at the forefront throughout and his partners Paul Deakin, Robert Reynolds, and Nick Kane offering first-class support. Given the Mavericks' eclectic approach and the distinct personalities of their studio albums, O What a Thrill takes on a hefty challenge by attempting to represent the group's multifaceted body of work, but it achieves its goal with admirable success, and its a fine calling card for the group's excellent back catalog.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming