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May 2005

Michael Buble
It's Time
Reprise

What has happened to Michael Buble? After three years and assorted collections of too-calculatedly cool, overly derivative pop standards that proved little beyond his keen ability to echo Sinatra, Darin, Jack Jones and Vic Damone, the chiseled Canadian finally lets his hair down on the terrifically relaxed, genuinely hip It's Time (Reprise). The Vancouver-born lad with the powerful baritone has at last found his own voice, and uses it to dexterously authoritative advantage as he navigates 13 standards of varying vintages plus, with Buble finally exercising what seems to be some estimable songwriting muscle, one co-penned original. "It's a new dawn, it's a new day," he sings off the top in Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley's ebullient "Feeling Good," and indeed it is. Buble lends precisely the right amount of sophisticated bounce to "A Foggy Day," spices "The More I See You" with volcanic yearning and reduces a swinging, distinctly Sinatra-esque arrangement of "I've Got You Under My Skin" to a deliciously sexy simmer. Shifting to more contemporary material, his heavily caffeinated "Can't Buy Me Love" is a bracing exercise in romantic urgency. Skipping past a serviceable but uninspiring "Save the Last Dance for Me," he teams with pop singer Nelly Furtado for a sizzling "Quando, Quando, Quando," and then trumpeter Chris Botti for an appropriately contemplative wade through Leon Russell's "Song for You." Buble's previous efforts made him an international star. It's Time proves him a genuinely imaginative stylist now firmly on par with Peter Cincotti and Jamie Cullum.

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Danny Clinch

Michael Buble

Originally published in May 2005
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