An album which would surely have been voted ‘ring-a-ding-ding’ by Frank and Dean.
Adrian Edwards 2009
Michael Bublé’s decision to enter the studio with his band alongside him, a format tried and tested by his idols Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, has paid off handsomely. Each song on this flamboyant new CD thrills the ear as though it were a live performance.
Bublé lays down his cards from the word go with a highly theatrical interpretation of the torch song Cry Me a River – far removed from Julie London’s sultry rendition which she recorded many moons ago. He doesn’t spare us the pain of a man thwarted in love, but neither does he whip up a frenzy of self-regarding pity that has become a cliché of many performances. The epic scoring of the opening owes something to the Hans Zimmer school of soundtracks, and there is also a warm string arrangement that dovetails comfortably around his refrain.
By contrast, All of Me begins with piano in nightclub style and builds up into a swing arrangement with some Neal Hefti stings on brass. Bublé’s seductive way with the line, “Take my lips, I wanna lose them”, is one instance where this artist invests a familiar lyric with a conversational touch as though newly minted. The same goes for You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You. His Georgia On My Mind is a gem: the gentle string opening with a touch of vibraphone, the close harmony vocals, his seamless phrasing and a mellow clarinet solo ensure that this account has classic status. In the pay-off, Bublé leaves one in no doubt that the girl on his mind is Georgia, rather than the American state that as some have suggested might have been the inspiration for this song.
All I Do Is Dream Of You, a song from the 1930s, is pure heaven in its late 1950s make-over, and Crazy Love acknowledges 1970, the year the Van Morrison original was written, by introducing acoustic guitar. Bublé’s two new songs catch the spirit of today. The first, Haven’t Met You Yet, is wrapped up in a frankly commercial, chart-orientated arrangement; the second, Hold On, points to Simon and Garfunkel in its simplicity. Even more entertaining are Bublé’s takes on Heartache Tonight, with its tear-up accompaniment, and Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes), a happy-go-lucky duet with Sharon Stone.
This wonderful album would surely have been voted ‘ring-a-ding-ding’ by Frank and Dean!