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To Be Loved: A Review of Michael Bublé’s New Project

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The album cover of Michael Bublé’s latest project: To Be Loved.

This week I received the new album by Michael Bublé, entitled To Be Loved. Because my husband produces and writes music, we’re kind of a “tough crowd” around here. Not easily pleased.

But there’s a whole lot to love on this album. It’s a mixture of old Sinatra-esque standards, a few Motown classics, with some adult contemporary numbers thrown in for good measure.

Canadian Michael Bublé has sold more than 45 million albums worldwide. Let’s just stop and ponder that number for a moment, shall we?  45 million. Holy cow. He’s also been awarded three Grammys. “To Be Loved” debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts, making it Bublé’s fourth consecutive number one album.

He must be doing SOMETHING right.

Michael Bublé says this album came out of a place of deep contentment in his life, and it shows. The songs largely give off the vibe of a man in love, happy in his marriage, and looking forward to the birth of his first child.

He cleans up nicely, too.

I’ve been aware of his music, of course, and, listened to some of his songs, but after listening to this album carefully enough to write a review, I think I can say that Mr. Bublé might just have won himself a new fan. His voice is agile, his technique skilled, and he shows it off to great effect on both the classic Sinatra ballads, “You Make Me Feel So Young” and “Nevertheless”, the tunes which start and end the album. His treatment of these songs is so smooth and easy it reminds me of straddling a highly polished bannister in a great big mansion, and gliding down it with nary a splinter to spoil the ride.

Another strong track is the second one, “It’s a Beautiful Day”.  It’s a perfect example of why he’s been so successful in the adult contemporary music genre. “It’s A Beautiful Day” is of the happiest little break-up songs you’ll ever hear: finger-snapping, toe-tapping, bubbly fun. Bublé co-wrote this song, and it’s my favorite of all three of the songs that his writing efforts added to the album.

The third track, “You Don’t Know What It’s Like”, is an old BeeGees tune. I liked this so much: dare I say it? I liked it better than the original. The orchestration and production reminded me of some old Sam Cooke tunes that I’ve loved. Very elegant, very soulful. Nice.

I have always been crazy about the Motown sound, and I really enjoyed the way Bublé covered “Who’s Loving You?”, a tune penned by Smokey Robinson. It’s been covered by not only Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, but also The Temptations, The Supremes, and possibly most notably by the young Michael Jackson, when he was still a part of the Jackson Five. I liked Bublé’s treatment of the tune a lot, but I fell in love with it when I listened to this live performance of it, recorded in the New York Subway.

In this clip, you’ll see him surrounded by Naturally 7, the group that stepped in and took the place of Elvis’ Jordanaires on not only this tune, but on “Have I Told You Lately?”. I love the way the super polished Bublé cuts loose and growls this tune straight from his gut. There was possibly more soul in this live recording than on any of the rest of the project. I’d love to see Mr. Bublé cut loose even more in the future, and pull the music out of the depths of who he is, with the passion and soul that you see here.

In the meantime? On this album, what he offers us for the most part is sweet, skilled finesse.

Which is nothing to sneeze at, either.

Are you a Michael Bublé fan?
Have you listened to this new project?