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Music Review: Michael Bublé – Call Me Irresponsible

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There should be little explanation as to why Michael Bublé's newest CD, Call Me Irresponsible, tops the list of best-selling albums on iTunes as of the writing of this review. The Canadian-bred crooner pushes songs that are immediately recognizable to any generation of listener and has a unique ability to put a modern spin on standards while remaining remarkably faithful to them.

On this, his third studio album, Bublé covers a wide range of styles adding blues-pop and early-70's R&B to his favored Sinatra-era swing and jazz. The best of the latter category is "That's Life," which Bublé introduces with a gospel choir and, when singing solo, possesses all the charm and swagger that made the Chairman of the Board a cultural juggernaut. "The Best is Yet to Come" opens the album with a few simple a capella measures but quickly launches into the Vegas showcase style that Bublé finds so irresistible. On the other hand, he infuses the title track with a smooth jazz. The beauty of Bublé is that he can win no matter which of these hands he plays.

Bublé's voyages into different genres, while certainly not new for him, is where his success wavers (if only a little). The Spanish-themed "Wonderful Tonight" leaves me searching my music library for the original. To be fair, though, the rest of the numbers that stray from the standards formula are fine. His almost by-the-letter rendition of "Me and Mrs. Jones" is haunting; the spicy "It Had Better Be Tonight (Meglio Stasera)" is fresh, thrilling, and sexy; and "Always on My Mind" is sleepy and far sweeter than the Willie Nelson or Elvis Presley versions.

The two original songs on the CD are the biggest swings away from the big band feel, but they're also two of the album's best. "Lost" is honest and heartfelt, and "Everything," arguably the best track of of the baker's dozen available (it makes sense that this is the first single), is a sunny ballad that will have better staying power than the hit "Home" after thousands of radio plays.

A first listen to Michael Bublé makes you wonder if he wasn't born in the wrong decade, but once you become familiar with his work, you grow thankful that he's making music now, and Call Me Irresponsible; is proof.

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  • Brian Quinn

    Personally I find Buble a boring singer and not very original. Again, he can only sing in a couple of genres

    For me, the REAl version of ‘Always On My Mind’is by Elvis and cannot be beaten. Elvis could sing in any genre and did.

  • Diane

    Michael is truly this generations best performer on this genre. He has so much appeal and does these songs his way.

    The song Wonderful Tonight is not Spanish-themed, it’s Portuguese themed. Michael would want that corrected. He sings this wonderful song with composer/singer Ivan Lins a great Brazilian performer.

    Congrats Michael! another cd well done!!! 🙂

  • For what it’s worth, I’m familiar with Lins’ work, and should have used “Latin” instead of “Spanish.”

  • Hans

    Michael’s performance in this genre- especially in this generation- is one without comparison. His timing is impeccable, his tone is nearly perfect, and the technical parts of his performance such as his breathing is almost as if it were handed down from Bing and Frank personally.

    In my own opinion, this guy, along with the likes of Jamie Cullum, is one of the best jazz artists on the scene today. I hope he sticks to the standards, but I wouldn’t mind tuning in to hear him branch out a little 😉

  • Sharon

    I went to the album launch party for this cd in Webster Hall. If you want to see a great performance of his rendition of many of these songs, you should watch the Webster Hall webcast.

    You can see firsthand the precision and passion that he puts into each song that he takes on. He doesn’t just get the songs down and belt them out. He puts so much thought into how, best to produce and perform the songs, even though he has fantastic producers to do that. I hope he’s around to stay for a long time. If you go to that site, let it load for about thirty seconds and there is a 30 second commercial, then an hour of the performance.

  • ami

    smoking hot sexy voice, funny, original and captivating performer

  • Aaron

    Michael Buble has a good well toned singing voice. His has almost no stage presence though and he is basically a dull club singer.

  • “Almost no stage presence”? Seriously, Aaron?

    Have you actually seen him in concert? Perhaps he was having an off night…

  • Well, I saw him on the X Factor tonight and he was as dull a performer as I have ever seen.

    Don’t know if any of you in the USA can see that show, but I have just reviewed this weekend’s X Factor episodes, if you’ll forgive the shameless self-promotion.

  • I saw him live here in Fresno about three years ago, on the evening of a summer day when the outside temperature had hit 112 and the theatre’s air conditioning system failed. Bublé still managed to deliver a high-energy, entertaining and funny performance.

    Guest spots on TV variety shows do often tend to come across a bit flat, and I’ll grant you Bublé doesn’t have the charisma of Harry Connick or the edginess of Jamie Cullum, but his passion for swing music is infectious – if you like that sort of thing.

  • Michael Bublé was certainly a charming enough person and the new arrangement of the song he performed, Cry Me A River, was fresh, but he basically just stood there and occasionally moved one leg in an awkward kind of way. That song doesn’t really suit Swing anyway, it should be a full blooded, passionate attack!