1. Track List (210)
Michael Bublé Gives A Masterclass In Artistic Reinterpretation On 2005’s It’s Time
In today’s music industry, audiences are privy to some pretty spectacular acts across the board, with the level of talent increasing year over year as recording techniques improve in addition to the incredible exposure the internet has given us to areas we would’ve otherwise overlooked just a decade or so ago, but even so it’s often difficult to separate the true artistic ingenuity from those who’re just following along with modern trends to make a quick buck. Obviously, we all have our favourites in terms of genre, style & cultural aesthetic, but there’re few artists around today who we can actually rely on to be consistent in quality across their entire careers, the last batch of such artists seemingly fading out of the mainstream conscious with the rise of the ever-invasive Pop machine in the last five years – Despite this, one of the only artists who has managed to transcend genre-boundaries & demographics to appeal to literally every audience available is a man determined to hold on to the foundations of popular music itself, endeavouring to keep the classic stylings of American music alive for generations to come by reimagining the works of his forefathers to the benefit of modern listeners, universally praised as literally the only male performer worthy of the title ‘America’s Sweetheart;’ I’m speaking, of course, about the sultan of song himself, the buttery-voiced angel of modern Jazz, Mr. Michael Bublé. Though it’s easy to dismiss him as that cliché Pop singer you buy on a whim whilst waiting in line for your venti-triple-americano at Starbucks during the Christmas season, knowing full-well your mother will absolutely adore the gesture if you buy her such a generic gift, the fact he’s made such a phenomenal living off updating old Jazz Standards from the Great American Songbook is a testament to how powerful he is as an artist, essentially churning out a basic cover album year after year that he somehow makes palatable to even the most vehement critic of ‘old people music’ like Jazz & Swing. I was once one of these vocal haters, finding it peculiar he’d found the golden formula to success in Jazz music when even-more talented professional musicians such as my father were struggling to make an impact on the market, but as time has progressed my prejudices have waned, allowing me to go back over his library & appreciate it for what it is – Pure genius. Let’s take a look at this nearly 15-year old album with fresh eyes & try to pin down what made it so spectacular.
Knowing What To Pick & What To Cut
Since its inception well-over 100 years ago in American culture, Jazz music has been a staple of popular music longer than pretty much every genre on the map, informing the cultivation of various genres like Funk, Soul, Hip Hop, Rock & even Country & existing as the backbone of creative expression in musician’s circles to this day. The problem with this genre being so big, though, is that the market is perpetually flooded with students of the style producing countless albums of the stuff on a weekly basis, varying so wildly in quality that it’s hard to sift through the nonsense to find what’s actually worth your time & hard-earned money; It’s one thing to release a collection of what you consider to be the very best Jazz Standards of all time, coopting the talents of your favourite session players & putting your own unique spin on the tunes to set yourself apart from the riff-raff, but at the end of the day if your selections are just a bunch of A-level standards we’ve all heard a million times, no one’s going to give a damn if your version is stellar or not ‘cause it’s just another drop in the bucket to an already overflowing scene – That’s where I think Michael Bublé really shines on It’s Time, as his affinity to sift through the dauntingly extensive Great American Songbook to find only the most expressive, entertaining & full-bodied arrangements available is second to none, bringing together a collection of tunes that you hear so sparingly in popular media or that you’d at least be too unfamiliar with to give a sturdy criticism of, essentially setting himself up for success from the get-go. His rendition of songs like 1964’s “Feeling Good” from the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell Of The Crowd – popularized by the venerable goddess Nina Simone – may appear lighthearted & laidback, but he injects a subtle layer of mysteriousness & charm into the vocal performance that makes the overwhelmingly bombastic song approachable to newer listeners, not to mention his rather demure singing style allows said instrumentation to shine as the bold brass horns & sultry percussion sequences drag you down into a sexual state of mind; Then on the other end of the spectrum you have songs like The Beatles’ iconic Brit Pop number “Can’t Buy Me Love” which gains a completely new spirit under Bublé’s wings, his bright, jaunty Swing interpretation removing the old-timey stigma attributed to Classic Rock music with a simple change in style, simultaneously gaining traction through sheer novelty appeal – After all, listeners in the nineties & early-noughties had a huge soft-spot for genre mashups that made retro songs ‘edgy’ in one way or another; Just look at No Doubt’s world-famous cover of “It’s My Life” by eighties Synth Pop band Talk Talk or Nirvana’s haunting unplugged cover of David Bowie’s Psychedelic ballad “The Man Who Sold The World.”
Tender Memories For Tender Hearts
While upbeat modern renderings of vintage arrangements from the Great American Songbook are definitely Michael Bublé’s claim to fame, perhaps the most surprising hit off his album It’s Time is the only original number within its walls, the somber ballad of homesickness aptly titled “Home.” If you’re unfamiliar with Bublé’s original numbers, as most people tend to be, he typically rests in more of a happy-go-lucky Pop- & Soft-Rock realm, sticking to the sort of bouncy Pop tunes you wouldn’t admit to enjoying in public but totally jam in the privacy of your home when you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up on a rainy day, but that just serves to make this track even more of a sleeper hit as it completely defies convention, obviously aligning with a rather mainstream sound but consisting of some of the most heartbreaking melancholy he’s ever put to tape; It’s meant as an expression of deep longing, but it’s so incredibly tragic at the same time, bringing together the hopeless yearning of Country music, tastes of gloomy Blues instrumentation & somewhat Folkloric narrative prowess that brings a tear to your eye whether you’re dreaming of making it back home to your loving family or reminiscing on a relationship that ended before its time – I’ll admit, I have a particularly strong attraction to this song as it helped me through one of the most difficult periods of my adolescence, playing over & over in my head for the better part of three years as I dealt with a crushing bout of depression in the wake of a terrible breakup. At the time, I had put my all into a relationship that I thought was going to be my final one & this song was a major point of connection between me & my then-girlfriend, so when she suddenly ended things without notice one stormy April day I was completely & utterly devastated, falling into a deep depression that kept me locked indoors for the rest of that summer, incapable of being the positive force of happiness I was known for being amongst my friends; I can still remember bawling my eyes out as this song played on the long train ride home that day, but continued playthroughs of this fantastic song during said depression actually ended up bolstering my self-confidence in the following year, eventually leading me to be a stronger individual who took sadness in stride, focused only on pursuing the happiest connections between friends & family from then-on – Biases aside, it’s easily the most prolific song of Michael Bublé’s career, putting him on the map for those who weren’t a fan of his Jazz Standards & paving the way for him to follow up with more original compositions in the future.
Sometimes Authenticity Is All You Need
For all the good Michael Bublé achieved through clever reinterpretation, original songwriting & pure charismatic personality on albums like It’s Time, it’s his attention to detail & respect for the source material found on the Great American Songbook that defines him the most, knowing when to call a spade a spade & just deliver a barebones, by-the-book rendition of the American music scene’s most influential compositions – Sure, his less-soulful version of Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” doesn’t quite pack the same punch & his hilariously-Caucasian enunciations on Alberto Testa’s smooth Italian bossa nova number “Quando, Quando Quando” with Nelly Furtado – damn, remember her? – leaves a lot to be desired, but a quick look at faithful numbers like Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is” or Cindy Walker’s “You Don’t Know Me” illustrate his intense passion for the genre, going to great lengths to recreate the atmosphere of these song’s intended aesthetics without fussing around too much in the creativity department; I mean, hell, even fellow contemporary revivalist Harry Connick Jr. doesn’t do Frank Sinatra as well as Bublé does in “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” making it pretty obvious which legendary Jazz icon of yore influenced him to become a vocalist in the first place – In summation, the lens of time has helped me come to terms with the true musical wizardry of Michael Bublé over the years & I’m glad I decided to go back & give his older material a chance, ‘cause there’re some genuinely impressive tracks peppered across It’s Time that I could’ve easily glossed-over if the inner Punk & Metal child in me continued to reign over my sonic exploration in adulthood. If you’ve read this far, you’re likely already on-board with what he’s produced thus far, but if not, hopefully my stamp of approval can help you expand your horizons a bit as well.
America’s Sweetheart Michael Bublé Slips Another One Past Us
By this point in your life, it’s almost impossible you’ve managed to go about your daily life without hearing Michael Bublé buzzing around in your ear & quite possibly your head at least once or twice; Whether on some random talk show or on a compilation CD your girlfriend made you back in 2009, he’s become this enigma that remains as big as ever despite essentially churning out the same schtick for nearly 23 years now – Like clockwork, he released his latest album love just in time for the holidays, convincing middle-aged mothers all over to stuff his record in your gift stocking like the always-expected but always-underwhelming advent calendar candies, yet somehow he still managed to knock things out of the park regardless of how little we needed another entry from him.
Up To His Old Tricks Again
The single most intriguing facet of Michael Bublé’s career is that he has never once deviated from the same formula he’s run by for the last two decades: He sings swingin’ Jazz standards from the old days & occasionally dips into original Classic pop compositions to further showcase his extreme charisma; Nothing more, nothing less – On love, it’s literally these tactics all over again, producing memorable covers of “My Funny Valentine” & “I Only Have Eyes For You” amongst a bevvy of other heartwarming duets from the ‘golden age’ of music without once making you wish you were listening to something more modern, his voice just so soft & soothing that you’ll want to bathe in it all day, or at least for the duration of the record. Are we fools? Did we as a human race devolve ever-further into madness from the last time he released an album? Why do we keep eating this stuff up so willingly?!? My best guess: Michael Bublé is actually The Devil.
Just Enough Of A Twist To Warrant Attention
Of course, if you look at it from a more analytical standpoint, it really doesn’t make sense why love should experience such overwhelming success when there’re so many phenomenal session players & touring artists within the Jazz world worthy of a listen – The obvious marketing angle aside, Michael Bublé’s secret is that he changes his covers just the right amount to tie them to his character & to keep you coming back for more, hoping you’ll catch some quirky revision on each new record. For example: On “La vie en rose,” Michael Bublé & Cécile McLorin Salvant team up to tackle the French classic, although instead of even daring to attempt the authentic vocalizations of Edith Piaf, he takes the role of Louis Armstrong & blends the separate verses of the French & English renditions, adding a conversational element to the tune & putting his own stamp on what would normally be a pretty barebones cover.
…Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me
If it hasn’t been painfully obvious to you in the reading of this article, I’m at a bit of a crossroads with Michael Bublé & his whole love album, unable to decide if I genuinely enjoy it as a record or if I’m just overwhelmingly impressed by his ability to sneak into my music library like a flareup, year after year – It seems strange that he would continue to sell so many records in a music scene that’s so far beyond analog instrumentation these days, but that notion alone also gives me hope that the more realistic, skillful side the industry still appeals to today’s audiences; If he can still top the charts each year, maybe today’s audiences really are getting tired of the repetition within the Pop market, leading the way for a revolution of Trip Hop, Electronica & Nu-Disco in the coming years – Okay, so it’s a pretty unrealistic dream, but I can hope, right?
3. Official (30)
4. Audio (207)
5. Live (6)
6. Featuring Remixes (1)
7. Albums (33)