Raul Malo

With a resumé that includes a day job with the Mavericks and occasional moonlighting with Los Super Seven, former Miami homeboy Raul Malo bows to middle age and the middle of the road with a solo set of sanitized standards. Finding his Roy Orbison-like tenor recast as a smooth cocktail croon, one can easily imagine him with martini in one hand, microphone in the other, poised before a big band in the smoky haze of an uptown lounge. Despite the album's cool, cosmopolitan pretext, there's a melodramatic mood. Never mind that Rod Stewart and Carly Simon found success by changing their tunes, or that Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Buble are the darlings of the Sinatra set. At this point, Malo's makeovers somehow seem innocuous at best.

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Lee Zimmerman