A decade ago, the dB’s — led by singing guitarists Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey — helped build the stage for Southern jangle-pop, the tuneful back-to-American-roots movement from which R.E.M. emerged. Reunited after eight years of separate endeavors, the pair here uses more acoustic instrumentation than before and shows a mature, deepened commitment to the simple musical values of striking melodies and intimate, heartfelt lyrics. Holsapple songs like the gently parental ”Child in You” and the loving ”I Know You Will” express tender feeling, while Stamey’s ”Haven’t Got the Right (to Treat Me Wrong)” and the electrified ”I Want to Break Your Heart” confront the rocky side of romance. With a few clumsy lyrics and weak melodies, the record isn’t quite perfect. But for the most part — especially in the touching loneliness and love of ”Angels” — Mavericks resonates with emotional power. A

  • Music