Michael Bublé: Play On

Have you ever listened to a record that makes you want to jump out of your seat and start dancing? Or one that makes you want to dim the lights and just sit back and wallow?

But perhaps the more pertinent query would be about a brilliant LP that brings out both these impulses to fore. That is exactly what Canadian born musician Michael Bublé’s manages to accomplish with his most recent album, Crazy Love. Bublé’s traditional vocal styling of big band and traditional pop give way to a mellower, more traditional feel on this musical journey. Despite his francophone sounding name, Bublé is of Italian origin and grew up listening to his grandfather’s collection of jazz music. Crazy Love is the fourth studio album released by Bublé (in October 2009) and has been named for Van Morrison’s 1970 song Crazy Love.

The most popular track among the listings is a pop-style song with a trumpet hook called Haven’t Met You Yet. However, this is not the author’s favourite song. The gem of the album is Heartache Tonight, a bold and brassy take on the Eagles’ rock anthem of the same name. Crazy Love is unique from its predecessors in that it is deeper and more introspective. Though the album features only two original songs,- Hold on and Haven’t Met You Yet- it’s a keeper. Bublé has paid his respects to the great old tribute tradition by covering musical legends. His unique rendition paves the way for introducing all-time classics to young people today and exposing them to a rich cultural treasure-box of art and song.

Cry Me a River, the first song on the album starts off with a Bond style bang, a bombastic start to a heart-wrenching melody with powerful lyrics. You’re nobody Till Somebody Loves You is a touching tribute as it follows the swinging style of Dean Martin. For those who are unfamiliar with the late Mel Tormé, Stardust will be a revelation- it is a smorgasbord of pure instrumentals and soft vocals. Bublé is a baritone, and his style has been described as similar to the great Frank Sinatra. Despite this, he has great control over range – from F#2 (in “Call Me Irresponsible”) to Bb4 (in “Kissing a Fool”). Collaborations with other artists are few on this album- only Sharon Jones and Ron Sexsmith have been included. Whatever It Takes is a duet with the original writer Sexsmith and its superbly mellifluous tune makes you feel like you are swaying on a beach under the stars.

The low and not so noteworthy points of the album include: All of Me, which moves up and down harshly and too fast for comfort. Baby you’ve got what it takes ft. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings just doesn’t click despite its RnB effort. At this Moment starts out too slow, and this kills the song’s appeal.

However, despite these kinks Crazy Love is a winner- standing out for its uniqueness in a music world dominated by autotuning and electronics. Bublé had a hard time convincing David Foster, the album’s producer and well-known perfectionist for recording the Crazy Love in his own way. Bublé says that he wanted the album to have an organic feel, so that people could feel like they were in the studio with him.
The musicians and Bublé all sat in the same room and recorded off the ground i.e. without any contrived perfection. The sound sure comes through in the music. All in all, the author would give Crazy Love 3.5 out of 5 stars. For a musician who was called the darling of grandmothers at one point, it’s a brilliant effort and showcases Bublé’s maturity. The album has only added to his group of ever growing fans.

Akanksha Sharma

*This piece has been selected as the Winning Entry of the Day for the ‘Viewspaper Express Yourself Writing Competition’*