Following the release of his 2016 studio album Nobody But Me, Michael Bublé took time out when his son Noah was diagnosed with cancer. Understandably the entertainer put his family in the spotlight and withdrew from the music industry as the family fought the battle in private. Thankfully Noah has successfully battled the disease but the experience left Bublé contemplating when, and if, he should resume his career. During the summer Bublé headline at British Summer Time and in September he performed at The O2 Arena for his only UK arena show of 2018. Now Bublé is releasing Love, his 10th studio album, and with a tour announced for 2019 the superstar is most definitely back.
Bublé has been saying during press interviews that Love is his favourite album to date and it’s not hard to understand why. Rather than release a collection of downtempo ballads that reflect on the hard times he’s been through with his family, Bublé has chosen optimism and hope by choosing some of the most timeless love songs ever written. Love opens, appropriately, with When I Fall in Love and it showcases the star at his absolute best. The instrumentation is gorgeous, Bublé sounds as incredible as ever and it’s as damn near perfect a version of the song I’ve ever heard.
One thing that Bublé never really gets credit for, is just how astute he is in his song selection. He always records the songs that showcase his incredible talent in the best way possible. His playful nature shines through on the tantalising I Only Have Eyes For You and his showmanship is captured on the punchy version of Such a Night, originally recorded by The Drifters. Elsewhere Bublé takes you back to the golden days of music with the beautiful Unforgettable, enlists Loren Allred for a Spanish-tinged take on Help Me Make It Through the Night, and puts a huge smile on your face with the catchy When You’re Smiling.
Love You Anymore, a song co-written by popstar Charlie Puth, is one of the finest moments on the record. It perfectly marries Bublé’s inspirations with a modern feel and it fits seamlessly alongside the classics here. There’s only one original song here that Bublé had a hand in, and that’s Forever Now, a song he’s said he never plans to perform live. It’s a deeply personal song about his children that’ll leave you with a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye.
Of the covers, an English take on La Vie En Rose featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant is a superb moment as is Bublé’s dramatic take on My Funny Valentine, which sounds like it could be a Bond theme tune (seriously, why has he never been asked to record a Bond theme song?). Album closer Where or When, from Rodgers and Hart’s musical Babes in Arms, is the standout for me though. It’s both a celebration of the sounds that have shaped Bublé’s career and one of the best vocals on the record. That note at the end… just wow.
Michael Bublé is the best at what he does. As someone who has followed his career from the very beginning, it disappoints me to see how little credit he gets for his music. There is no other male vocalist that can sing better than Bublé and I’ve yet to see one who can entertain the way he does so effortlessly. Love is an album that makes you feel warm and fuzzy during these dark and difficult times. It’s Bublé’s finest album since Crazy Love and it’s one you’ll want to play over and over again.
Track listing: 1. When I Fall In Love 2. I Only Have Eyes For You 3. Love You Anymore 4. La Vie En Rose (feat. Cécile McLorin Salvant) 5. My Funny Valentine 6. Such a Night 7. Forever Now 8. Help Me Make It Through the Night (feat. Loren Allred) 9. Unforgettable 10. When You’re Smiling 11. Where or When Record label: Reprise Records Release date: 16th November 2018 Buy Love