x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Album review: Michael Bublé - To Be Loved

Michael Bublé is hampered by a choice of songs which throws his talents into an unfavourable light.

Michael Bublé
To Be Loved
Warners
**

Watching Michael Bublé live in concert, it isn't difficult to see how he became quite so phenomenally successful: those boyish looks and that mischievous charm.

On record the magic is a little harder to locate, however. The hugely popular Canadian is actually a remarkably undistinguished singer, restricted by a narrow range and further hampered here by a choice of cover songs that throws his talents into an unfavourable comparative light.

To Be Loved - Bublé's sixth studio album - features faithful but unflattering attempts at soul classics (To Love Somebody, previously mastered by Nina Simone, and Smokey Robinson's Who's Loving You), much-loved movie themes (Randy Newman's You've Got a Friend in Me, from Toy Story) and a couple of standards synonymous with Sinatra, including a painfully flat duet with Reese Witherspoon on Something Stupid.

Much better attuned to Bublé's pop-friendly vocals are the four original compositions co-written by the singer, particularly the sunshine-fuelled It's a Beautiful Day, and a lively collaboration with his compatriot Bryan Adams, After All. New material, Michael: it's the way forward.

artslife@thenational.ae

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