Michael Bublé Story-tells About Love in New Album “❤”

Michael Bublé Story-tells About Love in New Album “❤”

Catherine Hurwitz, Online Managing Editor

On Nov. 16, two years after his last album release, Bublé’s new album “❤” (“Love”) was released with songs all about love to pay tribute to his family, especially his son, Noah. In 2016, the same year that Bublé released his last album “Nobody But Me,” Noah was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a form of liver cancer, which made Bublé consider never returning to music again. Once Noah’s conditions improved, Bublé released his “most romantic album to date.” To show his family love and tell a group of short stories about love, “❤” mostly includes standards from the Great American Songbook, along with some originals, with his own modern and recognizable twists.

Included in the album is “My Funny Valentine.” The song starts off with a heartbeat and immediately follows with a dramatic James-Bond-movie-score-like instrumental opening with strings, drums, and a guitar with an action-filled minor melody. Bublé comes in with his vocals, and the instruments slightly slow down to fit the music, but they create suspense until the climax when he sings “stay little valentine, stay.” This arrangement is an interesting twist on a classic and is truly original. With its dramatic drum beats, it is more fitting for modern day music than the original version from the 1930s, as it reveals a different side of love than ever sung before.

Similar to the energy in “My Funny Valentine,” in a swinging, Elvis-style rendition, Bublé sings “Such a Night” to show the joy of love. The song seems straight out of a jazz album, almost as if Leonard Bernstein arranged it. It sounds like a live performance, with a continuous string bass in the back and a saxophone solo in the middle, which is the heart of jazz. “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” featuring Loren Allred, has a melancholy Spanish feeling with a mariachi band featuring trumpets. In “When You’re Smiling,” there is a brass interlude and a chorus of men echoing him as if they were singing in a big band, with an in-the-pocket beat.

Many of the other songs are more slow and melancholy. He sings “La Vie En Rose” with Cécile McLorin Salvant, starting off in English and together adding French to tell a story of melting cultures together through love. It is a tribute to Édith Piaf’s old arrangement and has a classic French sound with a single violin and then cascading strings. Other slower songs include “When I Fall in Love,” which is reminiscent to Nat King Cole’s version and was the first song released as a video, or a “cinematic experience.” “Unforgettable” gives Cole’s version a modern twist with a bass guitar and drum beat heard beneath Bublé’s voice. Bublé’s original “When You’re Not Here” sounds like a lullaby with a soothing piano intro.

Just like “When You’re Not Here,” not all of the songs on the album are classics. “Love You Anymore” was actually written by Charlie Puth and is catchy, but it still sounds as if it could be a part of the Great American Songbook. Above all, in his original “Forever Now,” Bublé starts off singing just with a keyboard, as if he were performing it in front of his family. The song is about watching his family grow up and how he will always love them.

“Forever Now” is about his family, and the rest of the songs supplement his love for them with overlying meanings about love. After a hiatus from making an album for two years, Bublé’s return lives up to expectations by beautifully arranging songs of the past and present all about love.