A swinging debut

Buble gets fresh with the classics

Stuck in traffic on my way home, I sifted through a pile of CDs that had been gathering dust at the office. Michael Buble happened to be one of them, so I popped his CD into the player and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with his rich, deep voice.

Even though Buble sings songs previously recorded by others like Frank Sinatra, George Michael, Paul Anka and Rod Stewart, he nonetheless wins you over with an irresistibly smooth, velvety voice and a refreshing style. Backed by the gargantuan sound of his big band orchestral arrangements, Buble has headlines reading worldwide: “This kid can sing and swing.”

“Buble has the voice of Frank Sinatra with a young, sexy, new twist,” says one of his fans. Buble, who comes from a small town outside Vancouver, has become a singing sensation, who, at the age of 25, has a smooth voice and heartthrob style that harks back to the swinging greats of earlier days.

Buble is backed by producer David Foster (Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston) and since the release of his 13-track self-titled debut CD in February, has made his arrival on the music scene in no uncertain terms.

His track listings include such standards as “Come Fly With Me,” “Fever,” “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” all of which he sang during his sold-out performance in Ottawa at Le Theatre du Casino on Nov 16.

I attended Buble’s live performance with some degree of skepticism. I must admit I have made a habit of listening more carefully to the quality of the recording than the actual performer, and my experience tells me that most often artists are produced to sound good and their live voices can rarely compete with their recordings.

In general, the material he sang was more impressive than his ability to sing over his accompanying eight-member band made up of keyboard, drums, cello, guitar and four horns. Although not as impressed with the power of his voice live, Buble’s rich, deep voice inevitably won me over.

“I think all these songs have something in common,” Buble has said. “They have a heart and a soul and the challenge of any singer is to connect those qualities and make them real for the audience. Of course, these particular standards have been favourites of mine for as long as I can remember.”

“Michael hasn’t just learned this music,” David Foster said in a press release. “He’s lived it. He brings a youthful energy to it, tough and tender at the same time and like nothing else I’ve ever heard.

“The great thing is, he’s tapped into a repertoire that can last him 50 years. He’s at the beginning of a very long career.”



Michael Buble.

Warner Brothers. $16.99.


Michael Bulbe.

DRG. $16.99.


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