Q - 1/04, p.1103 stars out of 5
- "[T]he smooth-voiced Canuck has few rivals when it comes to carrying the torch currently held by Tony Bennett."
This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
Personnel: Michael Buble, Sherree Ford (vocals); David Foster (arranger, piano, synthesizer); Dean Parks (acoustic & electric guitars, percussion); Heitor Padilla (acoustic guitar); Michael Thompson, John Pisano (guitar);
Bob Sheppard, Dave Boroff (saxophone); Gary Grant (trumpet); Randy Waldman (piano, keyboards); Brian Bromberg (bass); Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Tull, Frank Capp, Joe Labarbera (drums); Raffael Padilla (percussion); Jochem Van Der Saag, Neil Devor, Felipe Elgueta (programming); Barry Gibb (background vocals).
Producers: David Foster, Humberto Gatica, Johnny Mandel.
Personnel: Jochem van der Saag (programming).
Right off the bat, Michael Buble has you in his corner just because you know people have been calling the poor guy "Bubble" all his life (keep that accent on the second syllable, folks). Nomenclature aside, Buble's debut album positions him as something of a Harry Connick, Jr. for the 21st century. His husky croon gives him a bearing beyond his tender years, and in fact his Sinatra-phrased, pop-jazz style bears strong echoes of Connick's singing. Accordingly, the production leans heavily on the updated swing of chestnuts like "Fever" and "Come Fly With Me," but that's only part of the story.
As a modern song stylist, Buble digs into the standards of a more contemporary songbook as well. George Michael's jazzy ballad "Kissing a Ballad" has been a standard-in-waiting for some time, and a version of the Bee Gees' soulful ballad "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" features a guest turn by Barry Gibb himself. And there are worse things that could happen to Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life" than to be given the big-band treatment. It's refreshing to hear the debut of a young singer who's simply applying a strong voice and style to quality songs instead of cynically treading the teen-pop treadmill.