Album Review: Raul Malo "Sinners & Saints"

Throughout his music career, Raul Malo has carefully honed his creative energies and always managed to impress and surprise listeners. However, Malo's new album "Sinners & Saints" is the crowning achievement of his long career, and the Tex-Mex album offers a deeply satisfying slice of life from this talented veteran musician.
The album begins with Latin-flavored title track "Sinners And Saints." Raul Malo's vocals have never sounded better, and the instrumentation is carefully layered and rich in texture.

The country rock level is significantly raised with the radio-ready cut "Living For Today." This track was made for hard working country boys and girls who will eat this song up like cotton candy at the county fair. "Superstar" is another potential country radio chart hit with a Latin-influenced outlaw country sound.

Malo offers his best vocal performance on "'Til I Gain Control Again," which is reminiscent of the best songs of The Mavericks. Raul Malo's soaring vocals are pitch perfect in this earnest performance. However, the best track on the album is "Matter Much To You" - a song Roy Orbison would be proud to record if he were alive today. Malo's laid-back performance is perfect in this new American classic. "Saint Behind The Glass" has much of the same charm.

The love song "San Antonio Baby" is a catchy and melodic gem. Likewise, the Spanish track "Sombras" is a treasure that deserves airplay on Latino radio. But the biggest surprise on the album is the quirky "Staying Here," which has a Michael McDonald meets Toby Keith vibe that works.

Raul Malo has achieved a masterful, musical feat in the release of "Sinners & Saints" In less than an hour, the artist stirs passion inside the listener while stimulating intellectual curiosity at the same time. Raul Malo has always been an innovative and interesting musician. However, his success is even more impressive because he has made his richly textured tracks seem so darn effortless. Bravo, Raul.