In this age of popstars, idols and celebrity worship, the art of singing usually seems to have been forgotten. Marketing, personality, and looks are all nowadays quite openly looked upon as the most important aspects of an artist courting popularity. Michael Buble has all these (looks, big label, big managers, big producers, etc.), but the amazing thing is... his voice and delivery are pure class. This kind of authoritative but unhistrionic, stand-and-deliver, conversationally-toned singing hasn't been in fashion, or even heard, for years.
There are beautiful echoes of Jack Jones, Frank Sinatra and Mel Torme all the way through this album. Does anyone remember Jack Jones? Most of the songs, singing, and production from this collection would sound quite at home on some of Jack Jones' terribly unfashionable 70s albums (which, by the way are not available on CD - now may be the time to release them, someone!).
The song selection here is sometimes overly conservative and bland, or sometimes even kitsch ("Crazy Little Thing"), but the voice usually compensates for any mediocrities in songwriting and orchestration. George Michael and Barry Gibb are good songwriter choices - maybe Michael Buble should do more of these kinds of songs in this kind of setting? Some of the swing stuff may be overly blatantly Sinatra-influenced, but it's impeccably done.
I'm very much looking forward to hearing more from this guy...