2003 album from the Canadian crooner. When producer David Foster (Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston) discovered him, he quickly became a 25-year-old singing sensation whose smooth voice and heartthrob style harks back to the swingin' greats of earlier decades, to the likes of Frank & Dean, but also speaks to a new generation's sensibility.
Pop's rush to raid the cradle continues with this promising debut by 25-year-old Canadian singer Michael Bublé. And while the young vocal star's good looks are smart enough for a boy band, his muse seems to have sprung from a more sassy and compelling musical era. Mentored by Paul Anka (whose '50s hit "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" is covered in dreamy, cabaret fashion here), Bublé sings in the orbits of Darin and Sinatra, covering swing epoch gems ("Come Fly with Me," "The Way You Look Tonight," "That's All") and rock era standards (Van Morrison's "Moondance," "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" by the Brothers Gibb, Queen's "Crazy Little Ting Called Love") with equal aplomb. David Foster's production is typically slick and played to the back row of the bleachers, but it's informed by smart contexts provided by such arrangers as Johnny Mandel, Randy Waldman, and Mike Melvoin. If the choices of material are sometimes staid and predictable, they also give the singer a crucial framework for building toward something more challenging; his is a bright future. --Jerry McCulley