album reviews

Michael Bublé
It's Time

Canadian singer Michael Bublé takes great advantage of the market research done by his predecessors. In concert, his jazz/pop repertoire pulls from crowd pleasers of the Rat Pack era ("Mack the Knife," "Come Fly With Me") as well as newer tunes like Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and Van Morrison's "Moondance."

Bublé's second album, "It's Time," is another collection of predictable favorites delivered in his silky-smooth voice. He glides over the melody of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" and projects a note-perfect version of the Gershwin classic "A Foggy Day (in London Town)." He barrels through a jazzy "Can't Buy Me Love," injecting a few lines from "She Loves You" to turn it into a mini Beatles tribute.

But Bublé's flawless vocals aren't always on target: "Quando, Quando, Quando" is an insipid duet with gravel-voiced pop singer Nelly Furtado; their voices often clash, both in tempo and in timbre.

The most unexpected track is "Home," the album's lone original (co-written by Bublé). Its simple, brass-free arrangement contrasts with the jazzy instrumentation on the rest of the album. Bublé's unusually delicate vocals turn "Home" into a sweet lullaby that shines in comparison to his brashness elsewhere.

Although Bublé's song choices -- the Drifters' "Save the Last Dance for Me" and Stevie Wonder's "You and I" -- are destined to make his female fans swoon, he shows promise as a songwriter on "It's Time." Hopefully in the future he'll rely more on his own words and less on the time-tested songs of others.

-Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 16 February 2005
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