has been getting a buzz in the smooth jazz as the next-big-thing to follow Norah
Jones up the album sales charts. Well, Bublé is nowhere near as
seductively entertaining or original as Jones, but his debut album is a pleasant big band
take on a piano bar covers album.
Imagine Harry Connick, Jr.'s When Harry Met
Sally soundtrack, if Connick had included some pop songs along with the Big Band
standards (although George Michael's "Kissing A Fool" is as up-to-date as Bublé
is willing to venture) and you'll have a pretty good idea of where this
album is going.
The collection isn't groundbreaking, in fact it's the
kind of album Tony Bennett would have made if he was about forty years younger.
The record does have some very pretty songs given totally retro arrangements
that somehow suit Bublé's smooth Bobby Darin vocals. I have to admit, I
like this kind of bliss-out music when I'm in the mood, though I know many people for whom
this album would be like fingernails on a blackboard.
Part of the charm of
this album is the wide-ranging musical choices that are on offer here.
There is a gorgeous cover of the BeeGees' "How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?," a
jumpin' jive version of Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," a quietly
simmering version of "Kissing a Fool," a wonderfully retro-feeling cover of Paul
Anka's "Put Your Head On My Shoulder," the soft bossa nova vibe of "Sway" and a
slightly sappy sounding duet version of Lou Rawls' "You'll Never Find A Love
Like Mine." Strangely, the songs that work the worst are the songs that
would seem to fit into the big band feel of the album the most. The older
standards like "Fever," "The Summer Wind" and "Come Fly With Me" feel a little
too clichéd and karaoke here. But, Bublé's version of another old standby,
"The Way You Look Tonight" is truly devastatingly lovely.
In the end, the
good performances easily outweigh the bad ones. Michael Bublé is the type of album that
you can safely give your parents (or even your grandparents) and not worry
they'll enjoy it. Also, in a late night dinner-for-two romantic
background music way, it probably can't be beat.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright © 2003 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: August 11, 2003.