Q - 4/02, p.1163 out of 5 stars
- "...Drawing deeply on his Miami/Cuban roots...TODAY affords Malo carte balnche to front a nut-chokingly tight salsa big band, live out his Roy Orbison fantasies and even croon in Spanish..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 7/02, p.106
"...The title track is a stunning Latin rocker that knocks all those Enriques into a cocked hat..."
Personnel includes: Raul Malo (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, piano, bass); Shelby Lynne (vocals); Ramon Stagnaro (acoustic guitar, tres); Pedro Eustache (flute, saxophone); Steve Berlin (baritone saxophone, organ); Luis Eric Gonzalez (trumpet); Arturo Velasco (trombone); Alberto Salas (piano, organ, background vocals); Rene Camacho (bass); Ruben Estrada (drums, timbales); Michito Sanchez (cajon, bongos, congas, percussion, bells);
Dennis Britt, Michael Guerra (background vocals).
Producers include: Raul Malo, Steve Berlin, Alberto Salas.
Engineers include: Dave McNair, David Glover, Richard Barron.
Recorded at O'Henry, Burbank, California; Sound Factory, Hollywood, California; Sonora Studios, Los Angeles, California.
From the start, it was obvious that the Mavericks were comprised of a more interesting variety of flavors than most C&W hitmakers, and by the time they released Trampoline in 1998, the band had evolved from an eclectic country-accented outfit into an adventurous adult pop group willing to dip their toes into practically anything. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that Raul Malo's first solo album doesn't have a single country bone in its body, but not everyone might have expected Malo to walk so boldly in a single direction. Malo began exploring his Cuban musical heritage with a few Latin-flavored numbers on the Mavericks' Music for All Occasions and Trampoline, and on Today he steeps himself in Latin rhythms, from the fiery dance groove of the title track and the sensuous tension of "Every Little Thing" to the jazzy sway of "Ya Tu Veras" (four of the album's 12 cuts are sung in Spanish, and Malo's estimably rich voice communicates beautifully in either tongue). Today bears more than a few hallmarks of Malo's earlier work along the way; the sly humor that marked the Mavericks' best work is evident in a playful duet with Shelby Lynne on "It Takes Two to Tango," his Roy Orbison-esque way with a ballad doesn't escape him on "Let's Not Say Goodbye," and Malo's fondness for lounge jazz takes the place of his Latin sounds on the closing track, "Since When." In terms of style and approach, Today isn't what most people might expect from Raul Malo, but one listen makes it clear the man has a great voice, sure instincts, and talent to spare -- and anyone who has ever listened to his music ought to be well-aware of that. ~ Mark Deming