Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: "Christmas" by Michael Bublé

Okay, I'm back. Sorry about that.

It's nearly December, thought it's felt like December since I started back at BYU in September, mostly because I've been rehearsing White Christmas since the second week of school.

With December comes Christmas, comes Christmas Music. If you've been a regular reader of my blog, you've noticed that I really like Christmas Music. I decided this year, I would review new Christmas Albums and songs, because I think that you should all know what I think. Mine is an important opinion.

I'm starting early, though not as early as my first album was released. Michael Bublé released his newest album, Christmas on October 21, 2011. That is a full two months before the big day. It's sold successfully, currently holding the 8th slot on the Billboard 200, dropping from the 3rd slot it held last night. It's at the top of the Jazz Charts, 2nd on the Canadian charts and 2nd on the Holiday charts (the 1st slot is currently held by...Bieber...BIEBER!!!!!) It's had a successful release and it will most likely enjoy a pleasant boost in sales as we get closer to Christmas.

What do I think of it? Here is my track-by-track review:

1. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: 

This is, I think the second strongest track on the album. It's exactly what I'm looking for when I turn on any Michael Bublé album. It's a very nostalgic track, that will remind you of some the classic Christmas records recorded by Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole. It's a great album opener. The strings are nice too.

2. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

I like Big Band, and I like Big Band Christmas. This driving recording is a welcome addition to my regular Christmas listening. It's spunky,and the horns sound great. In my mind, it's a fun production number from some big gay Christmas musical.

3. Jingle Bells (Feat. The Puppini Sisters)

Another reminiscent track featuring the Andrews-Sisters-esque Puppini Sisters. I like the girls a lot. I just have a problem with the first twenty seconds of the song. Michael wishes the sisters a Merry Christmas: "Merry Christmas Ladies." They respond, "Merry Christmas Mister Bublé!" in a strange chorus-girl fashion. It doesn't sound right to me. Picky, I know. I like the rest of the track after that.

4. White Christmas (Duet with Shania Twain)

I have big problems with this track. I'm pretty sure it's sampling the actual Drifter's recording of White Christmas. It's lame. Michael and Shania sound great, but it's unoriginal, and it's nowhere as good as the original recording.

5. All I Want fo Christmas Is You

This track is a hard one for me too. There is only one version of this song in my opinion and that is Mariah Carey's. Whenever I hear another version of the song, I just think of hers. Also, I find Michael's voice be very produced on this track.

6. Holly Jolly Christmas

After that brief rough patch, we get a short and sweet recording of Holly Jolly Christmas. I don't have much to say about this track. It's pleasant.

7. Santa Baby

All I can think of when I listen to this recording is Michael Bublé in nothing but garters, stockings, a skimpy piece of lingerie, stripper heels, and a santa hat. He lies patiently with a slightly hungry smirk on one side of his face, the room carefully lit by the fire and the lights on the tree. This is not the image I want to see when I listen to Santa Baby.

8. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

A lovely recording of one of my top 5 favorite Christmas songs. It's not super memorable, but it's a beautiful recording and a great arrangement.

9. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Another cover of a 1960's Christmas Hit. It's a fun track, but it doesn't stray to far away from the original recording. Also, it's not really a sound that I'm looking for when I turn on Michael Bublé. It's a song I would skip when I pops up on the shuffle.

10. Silent Night

Michael Buble + Children's Choir + Beloved Religious Christmas Hymn = Beautiful song that your Mom listens to in the Car. Also, the horn intro doesn't fit.

11. Blue Christmas

Of all the covers of well-known Christmas songs that Michael Bublé has on this album, this is the strongest one. It makes me thing that he has had a little to much to drink from a jug marked with a "XXX." Mostly because he is just sad. I really do like this recording, especially the instrumental break.

12. Cold December Night

Not my favorite song. His voice sounds produced again. I don't like that sound a lot. Also,  he harmonizes with himself. The sound is peppy and I like the poppy arrangement, but not what I'm looking for. I admit however, it's catchy.

13. I'll Be Home for Christmas

Top three favorite christmas songs ever. How is Michael's recording? Great. The gentle guitar combined with the warmth of Michael's voice sucks you straight into this fairly simple Jazz Ballad. I'd be comfortable putting this on my Annual Christmas CD.

14. Ave Maria

Meh. I've heard better.

15. Mis Deseos / Feliz Navidad (Duet With Thalia)

I really only like the José Feliciano of Feliz Navidad, but I really like Thalia. I could listen to her sing Mis Deseos all day, though I'm not crazy about Michael's Spanish in Mis Deseos. Interesting that this is the final track of the Album.

The final word: It an album that get's confused in some places. It has many really wonderful tracks, though only a few are truly memorable. It makes you nostalgic, almost to the point where you stop listening to MIchael Bublé and you turn on Frank Sinatra's christmas album. It's a solid album that any Michael Bublé fan would like. I'm sure it will make regular appearances at many of this season's Christmas parties.

Grade: B-

Favorite Track: I'll Be Home for Christmas.

No comments: