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June 30 2022 10:51 AM ˚
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Michael Bublé, higher and higher

Jean Claude Elias
Jean-Claude Elias is a computer engineer and a classically trained pianist and guitarist. He has been regularly writing IT articles, reviewing music albums, and covering concerts for more than 30 years. (File photo: Jordan News)
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The recipe for success of renowned Canadian vocalist Michael Bublé is simple. It consists of a charming, deep, relaxed, and smooth voice, songs that are classics, a bit jazzy, but not excessively, and appeal to a wide audience, the whole served by technical productions that are halfway between tradition and modern sound.اضافة اعلان

Last March, the celebrated crooner whose voice has sometimes been compared to Frank Sinatra’s released Higher, his 11th studio album. It immediately secured the top spot on the UK charts and ranked among the top five in several other countries.

Music trends and styles come and go, but great voices singing no-nonsense, soft songs that make you feel comfy and happy never go out of fashion. This is how it has been since the beginning of recorded music.

Bublé has adopted this smart approach since coming in the limelight in 2005. Naturally, his God-given exceptional voice, his best musical asset, has helped him a lot.

Like most of Bublé’s previous albums, the songs consist of a mix of old and new song covers, and of a few originals too.

At least six of the 13 songs of the set are real gems, amply justifying buying the album or adding it to your favorite or liked selection on your audio streaming platform.
Bublé does justice to the song. His personal rendition is superb. The velvet-like tone of his voice is just the perfect tool for the composition.
My number one, and by far, is My Valentine, a song written by former Beatle Paul McCartney that was first featured on an album he released in 2012. It is a fine example of traditional jazzy classic, with a particularly beautiful, smartly crafted melody.

Fine melodies have always been McCartney’s trademark and most striking compositional trait. My Valentine is the kind that legendary Nat King Cole, for example, would not have minded interpreting.

Bublé does justice to the song. His personal rendition is superb. The velvet-like tone of his voice is just the perfect tool for the composition. Interestingly, it is the great McCartney himself who produced the recording of the song for Bublé on his new album – not a minor thing.

Another song that shines is Willie Nelson’s well-known masterpiece Crazy, a beautiful song that has been covered by countless other singers before. Here, too, Bublé manages to bring a fresh, new sound to this classic piece. The slow tempo, the intimate, warm, sonic atmosphere make every word, syllable and note clear, and make one relax.

Crazy is the sort of sound you would like to listen to late at night, just before going to bed. The instrumental arrangements are kept minimal, contrary to other tracks on the album that have been treated in the “big band” massive orchestration format. It is sung here in duet with the composer himself, Willie Nelson, with his signature nasal but otherwise wonderful voice. Bublé is now 46, whereas Nelson is 89.

Another great cover on the album is You’re the First, the Last, My Everything. It is an R&B (rhythm and blues) piece by Barry White, the man with the exceptional bass voice. In contrast with the other easy listening pieces, this one is upbeat and energetic, and will help to keep you well awake.

Bring it on Home to Me, one of Sam Cooke’s most successful songs, is performed by Bublé very well, with the right spirit and feeling, proper to the genre. It also comes from the R&B American repertoire. The vocalist also does a good job with A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, a jazz classic, a romantic ballad penned by Eric Maschwitz and Manning Sherwin in 1939. It is sung with the typical swinging beat and rhythm, played over a moderate tempo. It allows Bublé to fully demonstrate his impeccable phrasing of the music and the lyrics.

The last track on the album is Smile, another great traditional song from yesteryears, from 1936, to be precise. The enchanting, moving melody was composed by Charlie Chaplin for the soundtrack of his feature movie Modern Times. Whereas Bublé deserves kudos for doing a good job with the song, the instrumental arrangements are a bit heavy, with excessively loud choir backing vocals that do not fit well here.

The album also includes two new, original compositions by Bublé himself: I’ll Never Not Love You, and Higher. Perhaps they do pass the test, but they do not measure up to the other tracks on the recording. Still, you cannot blame the musician for including his personal works in his own album.

With the album Higher Bublé proves that not only he is here to stay, but that he keeps on going higher.


The writer is a computer engineer and a classically trained pianist and guitarist. He has been regularly writing IT articles, reviewing music albums, and covering concerts for more than 30 years.


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