Michael Buble has seen his success soar since the release of his sixth album Crazy Love in 2009. Until then the singer has achieved impressive success on both sides of the Atlantic but Crazy Love really took him into a completely different league. The album sold over 2.4 million copies here in the UK and its 2011 follow-up Christmas nearly matched it with over 2.1 million copies sold. The albums are now Buble’s biggest sellers in the UK. Ahead of his incredible 10 nights at The O2 Arena this summer Buble is back with his new album To Be Loved.
To Be Loved is Buble’s eighth studio album (his first two were self-released before signing to 143/Reprise). For the album Buble has worked with long-time collaborator Bob Rock who has produced the entire record; the two have previously worked together on Call Me Irresponsible, Crazy Love and Christmas. To Be Loved contains four original tracks, including lead single It’s A Beautiful Day, and 10 covers.
In an interview posted on his official site earlier this year Buble talked about To Be Loved saying, ‘My new record is about love, happiness, fun and yummy things’. It’s A Beautiful Day is a fitting introduction to the album. The track has so far peaked at number 10 on the UK singles’ chart and is an uptempo number along the lines of Haven’t Met You Yet, Buble’s biggest hit to date. As in keeping with Buble’s sound, the track straddles jazz and pop giving it mainstream appeal whilst staying true to his roots.
To Be Loved is perhaps a little more soulful than Buble’s previous records. A cover of the Smokey Robinson penned Who’s Lovin’ You really brings the soul side of Buble’s voice seeing him channelling his voice in a different way. It’s still powerful but there’s more riffs than we’re used to hearing. Similarly his cover of the Bee Gees’ To Love Somebody finds Buble harmonising with his backing vocalists to great effect.
There are some big-name guests on the album. Actress Reese Witherspoon joins Buble for a rendition of the Frank and Nancy Sinatra hit Something Stupid and Bryan Adams features on the original track After All which gives Buble’s jazz sound a soft rock edge. The Puppini Sisters appear on Nevertheless (I’m In Love with You), which follows their appearance on Buble’s Christmas album, and his frequent collaborators Naturally 7 lend their incredible vocal abilities to Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.
The moments that shine the brightest on the album are Buble’s original tracks. The piano ballad Close Your Eyes is an emotive three and a half-minutes that allows you to hear the rich quality of Buble’s voice away. I Got It Easy is another highlight backing Buble which is a stirring slab of power-ballad greatness. Another moment that stands out is Buble’s cover of Randy Newman’s Toy Story theme You’ve Got A Friend In Me. The quirky track is one of our favourite Disney themes and it suits Buble to a tee.
We’re sure To Be Loved will have its critics. Some will be quick to say that this is standard Buble and to an extent it is. The thing is though, that Buble knows what his fans want and this is exactly it. To Be Loved is an album that showcases some classic tracks to a new audience as well as showcasing Buble’s strengths as an artist in his own right. The balance is perfect and we think To Be Loved is a worthy follow-up to Crazy Love. We already know his 10 night stay at The O2 Arena is going to be one of the live highlights of the year.