Saturday, May 4, 2013

Love Has No Pride (Music Review: Michael Buble, To Be Loved)

Your mom's favorite singer is probably Michael Buble. Actually, he is probably also your aunt's favorite, as well as your older sister's. So it is probably a good thing that his new album, "To Be Loved" was released just before Mother's Day, making it the perfect gift. Buble doesn't break new ground with his eighth album, but he doesn't need to. Coasting though as he may be, his fans will eat this up hook, line, and sinker. The Great American Songbook snob in me may scoff at the uninspired repertoire, but there is enough here to keep anyone preoccupied. While, I think of him as more modern day Darin than Sinatra, he covers four songs associated with Ol' Blue Eyes: an almost by-the-numbers karaoke version of "You Make Me Feel So Young," a great Perez Prado-ish arrangement of "Come Dance With Me," an unfortunately timely duet with Reese Witherspoon of "Something Stupid" (I am sure she wasn't being ironic when she sang that, and then went on a drunk tirade in Georgia) and one of my favorite songs, "Young At Heart."  I didn't her anything new and noteworthy there, but that was just me.  A couple of spins into the record and I am warming up to the originals, like the buoyant "It's A Beautiful Day," and the light rock duet "After All" with fellow Canadian Bryan Adams. The whole thing is packaged perfectly, if safely and a bit too market research friendly. But for me, Buble's real talent is in his live performances. He brings life into these songs in concert, and most of the time, those give more resonance to his albums. But go ahead, give this album to the mothers in your life this Mother's day: it's the perfect compliment to that Hallmark card. 

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