Tuesday, May 01, 2007

CD Review: Michael Bublé: Call Me Irresponsible

Burnaby singer Michael Bublé's 8th studio CD, Call Me Irresponsible, runs hot and cold. When he's doing what he does well, singing Jazz standards, it is a very good CD. When, however, he lets himself out of his element, the CD suffers. The opening track, The Best is Yet to Come, promises better but doesn't deliver, as this is probably the CD best track. Me and Mrs. Jones and I'm your Man are other early songs that work well.

It is when the title track, Call Me Irresponsible comes up that the CD starts to fall apart. Bublé doesn't, to my ear, take this standard seriously, singing what sounds like a smirking version of the Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen song. Bublé's good, but if Sinatra can take this song seriously, I fail to see how he's above the task.

Bublé follows up Call Me Irresponsible with a truly terrible duet of Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight with Ivan Lins. It not only fails to deliver a reasonable accounting of an otherwise beautiful piece, but it also falls into, and out of, another language, presumably Lins' native Brazillian. Either way it's an abomination and drags the CD down terribly.

Again, follow up doesn't help, as Bublé follows Wonderful Tonight with another pop sounding piece, Everything. Rod Stewart proved that rockers should stay away from the crooner's songs, and Bublé returns the favour with these two songs: Crooners should stay away from Rock music (unless your name is Johnny Favourite).

He further proves the rule with a version of Always on my Mind that, while not bad, doesn't work all that well. However, that is followed up with the Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon song That's Life. It's the kind of light jazz standard that Bublé does so well, and it may save the CD, getting it back on track for the final three solid tracks.

Overall, this is not a bad CD, but some questionable choices leave it with a hole in the middle that would have been better served by songs more suitable to Bublé's voice and style.

3 out of 5

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