93 of 107 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Set of Standards & Classic Pop Songs
The old-time saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" may apply to traditional pop crooner Michael Buble. Indeed, Michael Buble's albums have remained conservative, maintaining the sanctity of classic standards and pop songs. 2009's follow-up 2007's extremely successful Call Me Irresponsible does maintain a sense of classicism that has come to define Buble, but there are...
Published on October 9, 2009 by Michael Brent Faulkner, Jr.
55 of 71 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Bublé fan, but disappointing
I really like Michael Bublé. I think he is one of the most talented singers today with a fantastic and exciting musicality. Unfortunately, this album comes across as just fluff. First of all, the engineering of the recording makes everything sound electronic and processed, particularly the brass and strings. The performances are tight, but this type of recorded...
Published on October 18, 2009 by SingingFriar
Most Helpful First | Newest First
93 of 107 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Set of Standards & Classic Pop Songs,
The old-time saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" may apply to traditional pop crooner Michael Buble. Indeed, Michael Buble's albums have remained conservative, maintaining the sanctity of classic standards and pop songs. 2009's follow-up 2007's extremely successful Call Me Irresponsible does maintain a sense of classicism that has come to define Buble, but there are some risks taken this go around. Sure, he doesn't ruin or over interpret the classics, but as far as arrangements, orchestrations, and vocal nuances, Buble keeps the classics 'fresh' while also keeping them 'classic.' The album isn't perfect, but it is consistent and bodes well to keep Buble's career afloat. Buble never compromises himself on this album.
Opening with "Cry Me A River", instantly, one hears that Buble wishes to exploit a slightly more adventurous side without 'rocking the boat' too much. The orchestrations here are different but brilliant and add just the right amount of change without ruining the sanctity of the classic standard. Buble, as always sounds top-rate as a vocalist.
"All of Me" scales down the experimentation of "Cry Me A River", seeking to balance between 'innovation' and 'classicism'. While the performance is another 'home-run' for Buble, it doesn't trump the excellent, cutting-edge "Cry Me A River". "Georgia on My Mind", on the other hand, finds Michael Buble at his very best, bringing new, pitch-perfect nuance to the classic that helped to shape Ray Charles' career. "Crazy Love", the title track continues a hot streak for Buble.
Perhaps most unique is "Haven't Met You Yet", which most likely will received mixed reactions from Buble fans. Personally, I think it is a departure for Buble and lays well, though it doesn't necessarily trump Buble's beautiful interpretations of standards and classic pop songs. Good, but no my favorite. "All I Do Is Dream of You" continues to differentiate from previous Buble album. It does so convincingly, given a soulful-sound that hearkens the 1950s.
"Hold On" proves to be a clear valedictory performance on Crazy Love, finding Buble at his most sensitive and best. The acoustic guitar here at the forefront gives this track more a modern pop tinge as opposed to hearkening back to classic pop. The strings are beautiful orchestrated here.
"Heartache Tonight" contrasts the slow, sensitive nature of "Hold On", solidly, though it is the Sharon Jones and Dap-Kings feature on "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)" that steals the show. Funky and just overall sensational, "Baby" is certainly like nothing else from previous Michael Buble albums. "At This Moment" finds Michael Buble among the bluesiest I've ever heard. Produced by the phenomenal pop producer David Foster, it is a showstopping performance by all means.
The album closes strongly with "Stardust" and "Whatever It Takes (feat.Ron Sexsmith)". Neither tracks captivate the way that "Cry Me A River", "Georgia" or some of the 'best of the best do', but both are solid and above par.
While 'Crazy Love' isn't revolutionary pop per say, it does find the crooner extending his scope slightly, which is a positive thing. 4 stars.
50 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this cd but...,
I really do enjoy this cd. Michael Buble is extremely talented as a performer and a vocalist and it is pretty hard for him to do wrong. But he does hit some definite missteps here. When I played it for the first time I was rather puzzled wondering what sort of cd he had tried to put together. It was very different from his others and I had to play it another 5 to 6 times before I really formed my true opinion.
Michaels's previous cds have all emphasized pop standards sung with class and quality in the big band style. He would also throw in a couple of redos of more current songs for fun. He also started to venture into the pop genre with his singles HOME and EVERYTHING. He continues his venture here with HAVEN'T MET YOU YET which seems to be getting mixed reviews. I first found it rather simple but find it to be a fun, playful song on this new cd.
It is obvious that Michael is trying to go more pop on this cd and the result will end up in mixed reactions from fans. What truly stands out is that the styling and interpretations he applies to most of the standards here are just off the mark. CRY ME A RIVER is an emotional song in itself with its heartwrenching lyrics. Rather than emphasize the emotional delivery he has a loud orchestral intro worthy of James Bond lead up to his vocal. It just doesn't work and is over the top big time. The other is STARDUST sung with NATURALLY 7. I felt like I was listening to the Andrew Sisters or even Lawrence Welk. This was such an old fashioned sappy interptretation that has no emotional value. This song also could have been perfect for his vocal gifts.
So he is going pop and the cover of the cd is CRAZY LOVE, a very old song that has been sung by so many and is pure pop candy. He sings it so simple and adds nothing to it. There is no Michael Buble magic. It is a simple filler song on the cd yet he finds it worthy of being the title. I also was excited when I saw he would be singing the pop classic AT THIS MOMENT. Again, he gave a simple rendition of a song that asks to be played with dramatically. I also found the orchestration on YOU'RE NOBODY TILL SOMEBODY LOVES YOU to drag. I kept waiting for it to build a little but this was another rather boring rendition.
What works for me here are ALL OF ME, GEORGIA ON MY MIND, HOLD ON and the real fun HEARTACHE TONIGHT. I went into the flaws I founds so extensively only because this is Michael Buble a singer with vocal and emotive abilities of the highest caliber. There is nothing I hate here or need to skip over. I just wanted to be honest with my review. And the honest truth is even with these flaws I play the cd over and over and really love the new single HAVEN'T MET YOU YET. I even laugh at the over the top drama to CRY ME A RIVER. I really am a hard core Buble fan and give him high kudos for trying to venture out and try different things on this cd. Some small missteps don't take away from this being immensely enjoyable. Sadly, if you really want Michael singing the standards with the big orchestra this cd might not be to your taste. But for those who appreciate the true talent Michael Buble has it will be lots of fun to go on this new venture with him.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Impersonator ... becomes Michael Buble ...,
For years I've listened to Michael's music, his concerts and other live performances in rapt anticipation and have been appreciative of his obvious talents.
Right off the bat, I'd like to say a few things historically about what I've heard. Through his career, Michael's biggest curse is that he's often compared to someone else, and while this fact is often inescapable of many musicians, some never leave the shadows of their peers even when it becomes less obvious because of the fan base that surrounds them. How many times have we heard him being compared to Harry Connick Jnr., or picking up where he left off? How about Frank Sinatra? Or having the same seductive qualities that Elvis Presley had? Numerous and far too many times to cite.
His past albums have also highlighted these facts, too. Listening to `Surrender' on the album `Dream' you can hear him lifting his voice at those same moments that Elvis did in his signature renditions of the classic song. Some might say it's an homage, but I think more would say it's a failure on his part to make the song his own and letting the previous versions overshadow himself. These delicacies may not be obvious to the casual listener, but if you've listened to these songs for years and heard them in multiple versions by any previous named artist, then it just becomes glaring. The most in-your-face examples are early in his career where he definitely sounds like he's singing from under the wing or on the back porch of Harry.
But then comes this album and puts all the previous work, complaints, struggles and the like - to rest. Every song on this album has become his own and he has created a new standard for some of these old classics in a most memorable and quite gifted way. These versions will be the ones that may stay around for some time, possibly even eclipsing the originals. During `Georgia On My Mind' you don't hear Ray Charles, you hear Michael Buble. During `You're Nobody Till Somebody ...' you definitely do not hear Frank Sinatra, which was wise of him to cover here and show that he's finally been able to pull it off, you - again - hear Michael Buble. During `At This Moment' you expect to hear Billy Vera, but you don't. It's definitely Michael. And it's a good thing.
Another previous complaint that others have had, has been that the orchestration for a lot of his songs/performances just didn't quite `gel' with the singer, or the band seemed like hired-day-players that kept their distance. Previous albums this has been a huge issue and made some of the work almost unlistenable to the trained ear, but finally it seems that Michael's band and Michael are now a group, doing things like they should, in unison and together. The playing has less of a studio quality aspect to it and more of an intimate feel. This has been a point that Harry Connick has always had over Michael, for the simple fact that Harry has known and played with most of the musicians in his band since childhood or from `around the way' as the old saying goes. Harry's band and Harry have always been together and complimentary and it's showed. Finally Michael Buble has his own band and is proud of it. So proud in fact, that he fronts them at the beginning of the first track for the first twenty seconds or so. Gutsy, even if it does sound as if he was tapped on the shoulder 'with a wink and a nod' to produce a James Bond theme song. I found it 'interesting', but not a complete detraction.
I can find no real shortcoming with this album at all, and I personally think it's his best effort to date. Judging by the press and promotion he's getting a lot of other people think so, too. I can forsee a Michael Buble craze reaching into mainstream America and younger pop audiences where he hasn't yet been able to access previous.
55 of 71 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Bublé fan, but disappointing,
I really like Michael Bublé. I think he is one of the most talented singers today with a fantastic and exciting musicality. Unfortunately, this album comes across as just fluff. First of all, the engineering of the recording makes everything sound electronic and processed, particularly the brass and strings. The performances are tight, but this type of recorded sound is so grating and unnatural.
As to the material, I think Michael is really at his best when the voice speaks for itself. This album is full of over-orchestrated, kitschy arrangements. Cry Me a River is just bizarre. The highlights for me are songs like "All of Me" and "Georgia." The new songs aren't particularly memorable or as catchy as previous albums.
Less is more when it comes to great songs. I really hope that Michael returns to the kind of arrangements and music where he invited the listener in and the natural beauty and musical talent spoke for itself.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Across the generations,
This is my favorite Michael Buble CD so far! I have been a big fan since the release of his second CD and love the fact that he sings old standards as well as new music. Stardust with Naturally 7 is wonderful and reminds me of the original Frank Sinatra version. Crazy Love is beautiful and who can resist the new tunes, Hold On and Haven't Met You Yet? As someone from the generation between Michael's peers and his beloved grandparents, I really appreciate hearing old as well as new songs. This is what makes him marketable to a variety of audiences. Keep doing what you are so very good at!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars VANILLA MILKSHAKE,
Dangerously close to Muzak. It's not the Sinatraisms, the Boy Croonerisms (Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, Neil Sedaka, et al.), or the retread arrangements, it's the lack of art. Sinatra was an innovator, and a superb actor, who mined the subtext of lyrics with a sensitive intelligence, and who constantly grew as an artist. Buble is not in his league, and not even in the majors. There is nothing here to indicate a life experience deeper or more recent than high school romance. A conceit may account for the selection of songs, but there is no dramatic arc, and this is not a concept album -- it's a hodgepodge of borrowed styles. At this moment, at least, there is no there there.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Music with a few exceptions,
Okay --- I've read the other reviews. Sure, this isn't the BEST album he's produced BUT ... the production is there, his voice is there, and he sings the crap out of all of it. Why the complaining? As someone who worked and still works with some of the greats in the music business, this album is stellar. Is it a "must buy" of his career? Hmmm ... good question. I think the main difference here is the David Foster "touch" is missing from some of the tracks, though he is Exec. Producing this entire project. The songs David personally produced show his hand in each one of them, from the styling and arrangements to the perfection of the vocal. The other productions on the record are very good, but a little out of Michael's forte: the big ballad and the big swing number. Song choices also have to be questioned (though the tracks written by Michael and his co-writers show greater complication in "pop" melodies than his previous attempts --- all this comes with time). With the plethora of material out there from the previous decades of masterful songwriters, why these songs? "Cry Me A River" is one of the best cuts on the album. The song was a standard for Judy Garland, and a big hit for Julie London decades ago. Melody and lyric are timeless, and David Foster's production stamp shows on the piece, and so do Michael's vocals. "Crazy Love" is another example of this. Now, the song may not be the caliber of "Cry Me A River", but this treatment of the song is very tender and caring. As I listen to the album completely, it seems a bit disjointed with material not referencing the same theme. His last effort, "Call Me Irresponsible", was a little disjointed and took some listening to over-and-over to finally enjoy the whole product. I think the main issue is this album isn't more of the same, but more "mixed-up" than other albums he has made, which is fine with me. I have to agree with a few of the other reviewers when I say there are tracks that are really good, while others fail to reach the same heights. "At This Moment" would be one of those songs that needs a "gruffer" sound (Billy Vera and the Beaters recorded this orginally), and a far less lush arrangement might have helped. Michael's voice is one that can sing with purity. Like Streisand, being a rocker is simply not your best work. Just an opinion ... prove me wrong, Michael: I will gladly take that back.
As Michael becomes more comfortable singing material that is new to the market (his own usually as well as some of David Foster's material), he is just getting better. His voice is spot-on, and like I say before, production quality cannot be beat. One caveat: with a voice that sounds more and more like Frank Sinatra's earlier years, he needs to be careful not to try and sound like him by choosing material that he wouldn't have chosen. Sinatra's later years showed song choices not fit for his voice, but more fit for his phrasing. Michael just has to be careful of his material choices, and trust that David Foster will guide him in the right direction. He has for so many others.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Song Selection is very week!,
I like Michael Buble a lot and have all his CDs, but this one was a big disappointment for me. 1-2 songs are OK, but the rest... I played that CD 5 times trying to love it. No results... no chemistry, I think. Many songs have the same rhythm and are very boring. Who picked the song selection? There are so many great old songs to chose from! What about new original songs? We have a lot of composers, who have great material. 5 stars for Michael's voice and 0 for the song selection. Makes it 2 Stars. Lets wait for the next release.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars puts you in a good mood,
This is my first Michael Buble CD, which I received to honestly review. His style really isn't my kind of music, but after listening to the CD a few times it did grow on me. There were several songs I really enjoyed, Crazy Love and Haven't Met You Yet both made it to the top of my list. It would of been merited more stars if there were not so many covers of old songs (I tend to prefer the originals, but MB DID do a good job on them). That said, there were several songs I found myself singing along with and at one point even dancing around the kitchen with my 9 yr old son (who LOVED all the songs by the way. I have to admit, for music that's not really my taste it did put me in a really good mood! I think I may have to check out some of his earlier work too.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Letdown,
Michael has so much more potential than what he put down on this record. The choice of most songs which have been done hundreds of times before and the arrangements of them make me wonder what they were thinking. It's time to dump David Foster and go his own way, only then can he become as good if not better then the entertainers he emulates.
Most Helpful First | Newest First