Sunday, October 18, 2009

Michael Buble: Crazy Love could use more crazy

This last week, I've been listening to Michael Buble's latest CD offering, Crazy Love.

I've listened to it several times, played it for the kids, played it for anyone else I could get to listen to it with me, because I'm not a regular listener of his.

And while I like some of the song choices on this CD (in fact, "At This Moment" has always been a personal favorite of mine), I wanted a second, and a third opinion, to make sure I wasn't personally off-base in my own take on Crazy Love.

Which was, to whit: if you are going to do a remake of a famous song, you need to make it your own. It should be distinct and unique, and at least on par with the original. And if you are going to fill your CD with classic songs, your versions should be memorable.

And with Crazy Love, Michael Buble does not do this. At all.

From what I can gather, I am not alone in this opinion; all of us who listened to the CD agreed that the original versions were superior to Buble's versions.

Buble's "Georgia on My Mind," has none of the soulful longing of the original. The title track, "Crazy Love," is bland.

And his take of "At This Moment," which as I mentioned is a personal favorite? This is a song that should sound, as the artist belts it out, as though it is wrung straight from the heart:
What did you think I would do at this moment
When you're standing before me
With tears in your eyes? Trying to tell me that you
Have found you another
And you just don't love me no more?
I mean, just reading the lyrics, I get teary-eyed.

But Michael Buble's version, I'm sorry to say, is just emotionless. It makes me sad, to have someone go to the trouble to record such an incredibly emotional song and just not do it justice.

And that's not the most egregious example on the CD.

You are probably familiar with the Eagles' classic rock standard, "Heartache Tonight."

Now, I don't know about you, but whenever I think about any personal heartbreak I have gone through in my life, and if, god forbid, I then went on to sing about that time (I know how fervently you all are thanking your lucky stars that you have never had to suffer through that rendition), well, my voice would not be anywhere near as pitch-perfect as Michael Buble's.

But at least, if I were to sing about heartache? I would sound sad about it.

Michael Buble, though? He sings "Heartache Tonight" as if he were having a party. He actually sounds happy in the chorus.

I found myself wondering why he bothered to include songs he so clearly had no emotional connection to on Crazy Love.

So, yes, I was disappointed in this CD.

I do want to mention, though, one particular track which I really did enjoy on Crazy Love.

Buble sings a duet along with Sharon Jones (another artist with whom I was previously unfamiliar, but who I just might look up, because she's got a great voice) and backed up by the Dap Kings, called, "Baby, You've Got What it Takes."

And all the passion and the emotion missing in those other tunes really comes through in this one song. I don't know if they just have great chemistry, or if in trying to work together they indulged in some oneupmanship, just taking each to new heights out of pure competitive stubborness; but, sultry, sexy and upbeat, "Baby, You've Got What it Takes," is easily the standout on what is otherwise a very meh offering.

I received a demo copy of Michale Buble's CD, Crazy Love, from One2One Network, to facilitate this review. Which they are probably not so happy about right now...

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