I really didn’t have any plans to cover this album initially. Sure, I had loved the Mavericks’ 2013 comeback album In Time, and some songs of theirs from the 90’s such as “What A Crying Shame” are still jams to this day. But I’ll be honest, after hearing 2015’s Mono I was more than a little disappointed with the band. Sure, it wasn’t bad, but it just felt so bland and forgettable, and when the band had announced they were leaving Big Machine Records slowly after, I didn’t know what to think.
Then I heard one of the pre-release tracks, “Damned If You Do”, and for any of you that follow me on Twitter, you already know how much I adore this song. It also meant that I would be covering this album after all, and honestly, I’m glad I did. Brand New Day may be sitting on the cusp of greatness, but it’s definitely a real “welcome home” effort for the band’s debut release on their very own Mono Mundo Records. It’s ten tracks that don’t waste your time and provide a lot of fun along the way, in other words, the kind of album I need right about now.
It’s kind of weird that they named the album Brand New Day seeing as how it seems to insinuate stepping forward, or perhaps signaling an evolution of one’s self. While the Mavericks are on a brand new label for this release, their sound remains intact, and honestly, it’s a good thing. This album showcases that their sound is a lot tighter, and as a whole it’s just a fun release that celebrates that sense of moving forward and embracing the weirdness of life.
That’s not to say the band doesn’t dip their toes into some eclectic boundaries though. “Rolling Along” oddly enough blends their signature Tex-Mex style with a Bluegrass style to make for a song with a peppy rhythm and great fiddle play, once again alluding to rolling on with life rather than letting it conquer them. The same can be said for the pop-rock leanings of the title track, and here it’s the little details that I like such as the clock chime that echoes throughout the song, once again echoing the signal of a fresh start.
You see, this is the type of album that doesn’t need a lot of words to enjoy, and that’s why I’m really struggling with where to go next with this. Songs like “Ride With Me”, and the jazzy “I Think Of You” are great examples of the more fun, loose vibe you get with this record (especially “Ride With Me”, that song’s a jam). Meanwhile, songs such as “Easy As It Seems” and “Damned If You Do” provide the more rock edge the Mavericks have always been great at while also going a little darker with their subject matter and tones. The horns in particular on “Damned If You Do” are downright phenomenal.
Now, I did say this album was on the cusp of greatness, and much like the standouts, there’s no overarching reasons that make this album what it is. Instead, much like the standouts I’m going to simply have to go track by track to say what didn’t work as well.
“Goodnight Waltz” isn’t necessarily bad, and for what it is I suppose it’s alright, but still, considering how fun and upbeat this album is as a whole, a more slowed down song like this doesn’t grab me as much, especially when there’s nothing really interesting about it to begin with. I didn’t care for the spoken word of “I Will Be Yours” (it also felt a little too cheesy lyrically), but I’ll admit that chorus is catchy as all heck. “For The Ages” also just feels like the wrong way to end the album. It’s not a bad song necessarily, but it’s lacking the energy that the standouts here have, and I think one of them could have done a better job of ending this album with a bang.
Other than that, I’m not sure what else there is to say. Again, it’s ten tracks, and while it’s not something that will totally blow your mind, I would say it’s consistently great throughout, and it’s good to see the Mavericks back doing what they do best, because as a whole, Brand New Day feels like a victory.
Favorite Songs: “Damned If You Do”, “Rolling Along”, “Ride With Me”, “Easy As It Seems”, “Brand New Day”
Buy the album! (Yes, I’ve been meaning to insert this back in…for every album I cover): Click here