Pros: 5 great songs…
Cons: …just aren’t enough to tide me over
Michael Buble has become one of my favorite singers, because if there is one thing that I love, it is the classics. Most of the movies I watch are from the pre-1960s. Most of the music I listen to is from the 50s to the 70s. Michael Buble is a modern singer who seems to be from a lost age, a crooner in a time when crooners no longer exist. Not to oversell it too much, but there isn’t a singer on the market like Buble today, and if there is they aren’t nearly as successful.
With the release of Buble’s new full-length holiday album due to come out next week, I decided to break out his first foray into the Christmas realm. In 2003, just after releasing his first self-titled album, he released a five track EP called Let It Snow. With no original recordings whatsoever, he focused entirely on tried and true classics rather than trying to put his own stamp on the holidays. The track list appears as follows:
1. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
2. The Christmas Song
3. Grown-Up Christmas List
4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
5. White Christmas
The album starts out strong with a rousing version of “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” The pace is fast but only gets faster as the piano and drums blend perfectly with Buble’s vocals. It sounds like the version of the song you would hear in a jazz club, which is a good thing. Buble then slows things down considerably with a slow, reserved version of “The Christmas Song” that would do Sinatra proud. The horn arrangement in the background goes well with the rest of the instrumentals, but as is true of the entire album, it is really all about his vocals. Powerful and soulful, yet soft and soothing when necessary, every note is pitch perfect here.
The highlight of the album has to the his interpretation of “Grown-Up Christmas List”, a song that has seemingly been growing in popularity over the past few years since Kelly Clarkson sang it on American Idol. My first introduction to it (and still the best version for my money) was Amy Grant’s 1992 rendition, and Michael Buble’s is the closest to it that I’ve heard when it comes to nailing it. It’s a mournful song about an adult’s wish not for material things from Santa, but for the good of humanity. “No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start, that time would heal all hearts..” It is a great song with a deep emotional message.
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “White Christmas” round out the last two songs of the CD, and both are sung beautifully. The former is more subdued, with Buble letting his voice doing most of the work, with the later using a little more musical accompaniment. While both are well-done, I think I prefer his rendition of “White Christmas”, which is soft and wistful, but still has a little bounce and charm to it. It is a nice way to close the album.
Overall, I think it is a pretty good Christmas album, albeit a short one. Buble is spot on with every song here, and his version of “Grown-Up Christmas List” is fantastic. When the only knock on an album is that it is too short, you know you have a winner. I would highly recommend picking up the EP, and I’m looking forward to his full-length album coming out soon.
This is a part of bilbopooh's 'Tis the Season Write-Off.
Other great holiday music: Barry Manilow's A Christmas Gift of Love - The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection - The Best of Bing Crosby: 20th Century Masters, The Christmas Collection - Perry Como’s Greatest Christmas Songs