Newest Review: ... both Cd's and I can happily press play and listen to them straight through without ever thinking of pressing the next button. In my opinio... more
Call Him Simply Wonderful
Call Me Irresponsible - Michael Buble
Member Name: memphisto_chick
Call Me Irresponsible - Michael Buble
Date: 08/02/08, updated on 08/02/08 (135 review reads)
Advantages: Bumper Album, Lots of Favourites
Disadvantages: Too Many Covers, Not Really a 'Tour' Edition
My review is of the Album 'Call Me Irresponsible' - Tour Edition, which features an extra disc.
In November I treated my Mum to an early Christmas present. I took her to see her favourite crooner, Mr Michael Buble, at Birmingham's NEC arena. Having not been a particular fan of his before this time, I went along, open minded and willing to have a good time. What I got was the most fantastic night of music I have experienced in a very long time, which prompted me then, to buy this album, in my local Asda for £9.77.
The difference between this particular album and the original release is that this 'Tour Edition' gives you an extra CD, with 8 extra tracks. Considering you now get 21 tracks, over 2 discs I found this to be quite good, compared with some other recent releases I have bought.
Aside from being X-Factor winner, Leon's favourite singer, who is Michael Buble? Well, he is a Canadian born singer, of Croatian and Italian heritage, with all that going for him, is it any wonder he has the voice he has? I'd admittedly never heard him much before seeing him live but I am glad that I didn't as it made me much more appreciative of his style of music, people I have spoken to since have heard of him as a big band, king of swing style singer, but having no preconceptions, I feel this is the best way to listen to Michael Buble.
1. The Best Is Yet To Come
2. It Had Better Be Tonight
3. Me And Mrs, Jones
4. I'm Your Man
5. Comin' Home Baby (duet with Boyz II Men)
7. Call Me Irresponsible
8. Wonderful Tonight (duet with Ivan Lins)
10. I've Got The World On A String
11. Always On My Mind
12. That's Life
1. Stuck In The Middle With You
2. Lost (pop mix)
3. Home (pop mix)
4. Everything (Bob Rock Mix)
5. Orange Coloured Sky
6. Let It Snow
7. The Christmas Song
8. White Christmas
Due to the number of tracks on this CD and in the interests of not over-boring the Ciao reader, I have decided to review only some of the tracks on the CD, ones that I feel really make the CD plus a couple which may have been better left out!.
It Had Better Be Tonight (Meglio Stasera):
This is a great Latin number and show's some difference in Buble's voice as to his normal style. Sharp and punchy, this is a song which you really feel you want to get up and dance to. The music is fresh and lively, it is the type of music which you would certainly expect to hear on your travels in somewhere like Latin America. Buble's vocals are slightly sharper and bolder than many other tracks on the album and if you have only ever heard Buble singing the Rat Pack favourites, this is a great track to change your preconceptions of Buble.
The band on the track really sounds effortless and stunning and it inspires a mix of brass, jazz and strings. Fused together, this all makes for an amazing track.
Comin' Home Baby Feat. Boyz II Men
Initial starting slow and soft, this track quickly changes tack. Buble's vocals are echoed by the Boyz II Men group and oh boy, they work effortlessly together. Buble packs a punch as an ambitious and innovative vocalist here as he doesn't just rely on his own vocals to carry this song; lyrical solos are also performed by Boyz II Men. This track is so jazzy yet so dancey and it's very infectious. Again, you have a brilliant fusion of amazing vocals and the band also really shine through on this song, especially towards the latter half of the track. Finishing quite suddenly, you actually get the feeling you don't want this song to stop.
I think many people may be familiar with the song from Buble's performance a number of weeks ago on X-Factor. I feel this is a wonderful song, this is so slow and so mellow but it's not overly soppy, in my opinion. Buble seems to know when not to overdo the vocals and through knowing this, he makes songs sound effortless, this is one of many examples. For this track there is less reliance on the big band feel, instead there is a fantastic string orchestra just highlighting the song, not leading it. Emotion can be heard in Buble's vocals but there is no straining or screams which can be heard with many male singing stars. Soft and sweet this is a lovely, soothing song and one of the best tracks of the album.
Call Me Irresponsible
The title track of Buble's third album, I couldn't let this song pass without mentioning it. A return to the smooth jazz of Buble we are familiar with and the big band accompanies. It might be the title track but in my opinion, there is something a little bit lacklustre about this track. For me, this doesn't have the pull of what Buble is best at; it's almost as if the slowness of Lost has signalled a change in the tempo. However, towards the end, the song picks up, the vocals become better and the band is exquisite, but it doesn't quite redeem the rest of the song. A weak link of the album in my opinion lacks power and enthusiasm.
Wonderful Tonight (Duet with Ivan Lins)
Following the slight disappointment of Call Me Irresponsible, this track follows. Again, quieter and softer this track takes a much different style to Eric Clapton's iconic version. Taking a bit of a Spanish twist, this is so smooth and slow and the contrast of Buble's smooth, long notes and Lins's sharper staccato vocals really do mark a contrast that, on the face of it, shouldn't really work, but does. Orchestrally, this isn't the most remarkable but the fact the track is so different to what you expect is really the overriding sense in this track.
This was one of the only songs I was familiar with when I saw Buble live and as this was one of the best songs he sang on the night, I had to include it here. Buble returns to a pop style of vocals and he really achieves a toe-tapping, smiley song. The song is great for getting you in a feel good mood. You cannot help but singing along, even if you don't know all the words. Musically, the guitars are fantastic and yet as simple as not to override this song, the music really lets Buble tell a story and the key point with this song is that by the end, Buble has told a story and the listener believes that story.
Always On My Mind
Reverting again away from the normal versions of this song, Buble takes Always On My Mind, so slowly. It's thoughtful, it almost rings true in our minds. You cannot help but feel that this is either him telling a story or he is telling your story of a broken heart. Some may say this track is also lacking something but I believe that less is more, especially where songs like this are concerned. This is such a beautiful song anyway and Buble's emotion and real thoughtfullness for the words come across so wonderfully, you get a feel he is showing his respect for this fantastic song by changing the style you would expect of the song. Like Lost, this track let's Buble's vocals lead, whilst piano and strings are allowed to highlight and provide a backdrop rather than overpowering the track.
Stuck In The Middle With You
Buble cover's Steeler's Wheel's classic. You can tell that Buble obviously likes this track; his raw enthusiasm is evident from the first breath he takes. He does, like his other tracks, add his own touch, in this case, he's taken it a bit more rock and roll and his vocals are sharper than what we became accustomed to on CD 1, but that's no bad thing. This track becomes another sing-along, toe tapping song. The band on this track really showcases themselves, I have never heard them sound so good, and it really is quite amazing. I cannot help but think this was Buble's choice of song, he really sounds so fired up and I think this is one of the factors that carries this song; you know it isn't just being sung to make up a filler track.
Lost (International Pop Mix)
Whilst I have been mostly of praise for Mr Buble on this review so far, I am going to get a little bit annoyed with him here, I do not approve of remixes on albums.....I simply cannot tell the difference between this and the original on CD 1, this track surely could have been replaced with something else, surely Mr Buble, I've seen you do fantastic songs live, so why not add a live version or an acoustic version, why a remix that sounds no different. I find this a bit of a let down because this is the first of 3 mixes which are present on this 8 track CD 2, none sound particularly different to the original. The only redeeming feature may be for some that 'Home' is included, but then as Buble said himself, he prefers Westlife's version......
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
A Christmas favourite, this big band version really gets me going. Buble sounds a little bit like Michael Ball here but that's not always a bad thing. Buble's Canadian accent is more evident here than any other track, I feel that this is track he is familiar with because he sounds so effortless, he could really be standing at a piano at a Christmas party. Buble knows what works with this song, he doesn't overdo vocals in this song yet he makes the ending special, not spectacular and therefore you don't feel he has ruined a Christmas song which has been around for years and already been covered (and ruined) by other artists.
Who cannot love White Christmas? Buble's final track of this album is slow, smooth and mellow. No one can top the original, so he doesn't try too hard and yet again, he pulls off a quite remarkable, respectful version of this song. It actually doesn't feel too Christmassy, so I wouldn't feel silly listening to this in April.
My only slight grumble about this track is the music sounds too artificial and too electronic for White Christmas, but overall, it is a pleasant ending to an album.
I like this CD, I like the variety and the flexibility of Buble's vocals shown on this album, I haven't got any of his other albums and I feel this is not relying on the listener having listened or bought those before.
I do feel you get good value for money with Michael Buble, he really knows how to be a showman, he knows how to impress the listener yet he always seems to be showing respect for his cover versions, which is nice to hear.
I do feel, however, above all else, Buble is a fantastic songwriter, so why so many cover versions, I truly believe Buble could hold an album without any covers, maybe it is a safety net tactic, but I would love to see more original material.
As for this being a 'Tour Edition', I can't really see it to be honest, I saw him on tour but surely a 'Tour Edition' should, by it's very name, include extracts from the tour? Live versions, maybe a DVD of concert footage or photographs of the tour. An improvement could be made in cutting out the remixes and just adding the 3 Christmas songs that are featured. A further improvement would be to remove the slightly lacklustre version of I've Got the World On A String, this would be better replaced with Stuck In The Middle With You, and you'd then have one of the best CD's in your collection.
I would recommend this CD, but it may be better to buy the original versions and just download any of the other tracks from CD 2 you may want.
xx My review also appears (slightly modified) on Ciao xx
Thanks for reading.
Summary: The new king of swing but maybe too many covers.