Growing up in Canada, Michael Bublé was channeling Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and other Big Band-era singers at a time when Madonna, rap and hip-hop were dominating the charts. Not surprisingly, the music industry didn’t know what to make of a 20-something singer who preferred to croon rather than rhyme.
But Bublé, the artist nobody could quite figure out, turned on a whole new generation to some of the 20th Century’s great music.
His Grammy winning 2007 album Call Me Irresponsible was number one in more than 15 countries. Now, two and a half years later, Bublé is set to release his latest album, Crazy Love.
It features two original songs along with 11 standards from big band to contemporary pop. Bublé has come a long way since the days when his grandfather would fill the house and young Michael’s head with the sounds of Sinatra, Crosby, Martin and Darren.
In fact, David Foster, a multi-Grammy Award winning producer and record executive who had worked with artists as diverse as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli, was reluctant at first to sign Bublé because he “didn’t know how to market this kind of music,” according to one popular biography.
Foster signed the young artist, anyway, but he was right about one thing; the public didn’t quite know how to take Bublé at first. His self-titled debut album released in 2003, which featured popular standards from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, only sold modestly.
But there was no denying Bublé’s talent, his authenticity, his medium-cool style and his passion for the music.
Early in his career, Bublé would rap a verse or two on stage just to prove he could. Then he would break into a standard like “Fever,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” or “Moondance.” He was a throwback, no question about it.
And, it wasn’t long before the music industry did take notice.
Bublé won “New Artist of the Year” at Canada’s 2004 Juno Awards and his album was nominated for “Album of the Year.” He toured extensively, appeared in some movies and on television, and a couple of his songs were picked up for the soundtrack to the 2003 movie “Down with Love.”
Hard work and savvy marketing paid off. By the time his sophomore album It’s Time was released in 2005, the public was eagerly anticipating it. Although it was another album of standards much like his debut CD, It’s Time reached the Top 10 on charts around the world.
For his new album, the now multi-Grammy winning artist recorded tracks in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, New York and his hometown, Vancouver to come up with what he calls his “ultimate record about the inevitable roller coaster ride of relationships.”
Bublé turned 34 on Sept. 9 and also went through some very personal changes after his recent break up with girlfriend Emily Blunt, who is now engaged to “The Office” actor John Kransinski.
He’s seasoned, more mature and wizened by age, and his latest album reflects that.
“I started this record knowing I was going to record it differently than my previous ones. I dug way deeper and was more introspective on this one. Basically, I sang the truth – made each song autobiographical – and you can definitely hear the difference,” Bublé says.
He sings his own stylized versions of such classic as “Cry Me A River,” “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You,” “Georgia On My Mind” and “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)”
The title song is a cover of Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love.”
“I went back to the way my idols made their records. I wanted an organic feel, so people could feel like they were in the studio with me. The musicians and I all sat in the room, recorded it right from the floor and we let the sounds all come together and bleed into one another.”
He wrote the first single “Haven’t Met You Yet,” with Alan Chang and Amy Foster.
Although it won’t hit store shelves until Oct. 9, the lead single “Haven’t Met You Yet,” is tied with Seal’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” for the year’s best start on the Adult Contemporary chart.
“It’s not contrived. Not too perfect. It just feels really good,” he says.