Michael Bublé: Christmas

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Posted November 12, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0
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Michael Bublé’s festive journey comes with jingle bells and the same ole Lang syne

It’s hard to imagine Canadian crooner Michael Bublé not ever singing holiday music. His chipper personality and relaxed fluidity, like a 21st century version of Blue Eyes, creates the dreamiest cozy blankets that save us all from the bitter cold of December. On his first holiday full-length disc Christmas, the smooth jazz singer gives the festive crowd something to be jolly about. Dreamy Big Band numbers are in effect (“It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,” “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”), so are the wishful arrangements of modern pop jewels (“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home”), but it’s when Bublé tweaks his image with some Harry Connick soul where he becomes a bit more interesting. “Jingle Bells” kicks up Ella gusto, “White Christmas” with Shania Twain transports Bublé into the Drifters’ doo-wop take and he does justice to Burl Ives’ “Holly Jolly Christmas.” You can even hear the saucy New Orleans jazz merge into the cabaret-styled “Blue Christmas.” But Christmas isn’t exactly the sleigh ride in Central Park; Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is marred with a sub-standard last-minute AC arrangement and “Santa Baby” sounds its creepiest yet with Grinch-like backups and obvious gender fender-bender on the lyrics, all while Bublé misuses his cool card on stucco phrases like “buddy” and “papi.” For those anxious for more holiday treats, bonus editions add in “Winter Wonderland” and a warm “Silver Bells” attached to Naturally 7’s harmonies. Another down side to the disc: Don’t expect any originals here, except for the melodic light-pop of “Cold December Night,” which is good enough to land on the next NOW Christmas set. The album’s a delightful addition to the list of stocking stuffers, but lacks the imagination of necessary risks to soar above the stockpiles of holiday entries.

J MATTHEW COBB

 

  • Release Date: 21 October 2011
  • Label: 143 Records, Reprise
  • Producers: David Foster, Bob Rock, Humberto Gatica
  • Spin This: “Have A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Jingle Bells”

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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