Suited Up and Ready
Big Machine

The Mavericks always offered a lusher kind of country, closer to the satiny sophistication of Patsy Cline or Ray Price than the roots twang their legend might suggest. And on Suited Up and Ready, the download-only teaser EP for their forthcoming, full-length reunion album, the Mavs sweep the rafters with complex rhythms, a certain brio that is as elegant as it is musk-scented, and the butterscotch and brandy voice of Raul Malo, a wildly emotion-conducting instrument which has never been better. Drama is a big part of what makes these songs stand out. Whether it’s Eddie Perez’ spaghetti Western guitar sowing a murky foreboding on the flamenco-driven “Come Unto Me,” punctuated by low horn bursts and a chorus of mariachi-sounding male vocalists, or the Wurltizer-soaked strolling confection “Amsterdam Dam Moon,” a love song to the same moon Van Gogh obsessed over, it’s obvious: where the Mavericks go, romance and intrigue follows. Ramping up the ’50s even further — and taking Malo’s Roy Orbison-esque tone to even more supple places — “That’s Not My Name” celebrates the glorious ache of being in love with the one who got away. “Back In Your Arms Again,” meanwhile, finds rapture and release in the arms of the girl you just can’t quit. — HOLLY GLEASON