You're Only Lonely

Erstwhile Mavericks frontman Raul Malo has released his second solo album, a low-key exploration of other people's compositions that is on the decidedly mellow side of the musical spectrum.

On You're Only Lonely, Malo worked with producer Peter Asher, the former Peter and Gordon singer who has become a successful producer in recent decades. Malo and Asher chose material that sounded like a standards album, but was different than the types of songs recorded by Linda Ronstadt (who Asher has worked with extensively) or Rod Stewart on their standards albums.

With one exception, the songs are mid- to slow-tempo and focus almost entirely on Malo's powerful voice. It's an intimate listening experience, but one that might be a surprise to fans of The Mavericks and Malo's 2001 solo album Today.

The most successful tracks are the versions of J.D. Souther's title cut and Willie Nelson's 1980 track "Angels Flying Too Close to the Ground" (originally from Nelson's Honeysuckle Rose album). Also covered are Harry Nilsson's "Remember," "So Sad" from The Everly Brothers, the Bee Gees' "Run to Me," and crooner favorites "At Last" (Malo's cover a nod to Etta James' version) and "Games That Lovers Play." Malo does two versions of a 1995 Randy Newman song, "Feels Like Home"--one solo, and one as a duet with country star Martina McBride.

Listeners who prefer Malo's energetic, Latin-flavored numbers are thrown one bone on this disc--the only upbeat number and the only original, the terrific song "For You."

Malo's great voice helps to carry this album through—but it's certainly a change from past releases. Fans, however, will find many subtle rewards on You're Only Lonely.

Mike Sauter, WYEP Music Director