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Michael Bublé: To Be Loved

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Michael Bublé operates within an alternate reality to most jazz or traditional pop vocalists, a world where sales aren’t measured in hundreds or thousands but in multiples of platinum. To a significant degree, that vast audience defines his music. The expectation from several million fans is that each new album will deliver a couple high-octane tracks ideal for MOR radio play. This time around, there’s “It’s a Beautiful Day,” a horn-fueled mega-production with an intriguingly dark underlying theme that suggests a melding of Billy Joel and the Monkees, plus the rather pedestrian, overblown title tune.

Big-name guests are also mandatory. Britain’s Puppini Sisters provide surprisingly subtle, McGuire-esque support on “Nevertheless,” and Reese Witherspoon shows up on “Somethin’ Stupid”; unfortunately, she ends up too much in the background-winsome as her voice is, it’s no match for his-throwing the song annoyingly off-balance. Bryan Adams proves a more apt partner, blending well with his fellow Canadian on “After All.”

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