The turkey has been carved and served. Now the eggnog is ready to be doled out, the presents are ready to be bought and wrapped, the decorations are ready to be strung, lit and hung. Finals and Christmas break is in sight. What other perfect star on the holiday tree than the Michael Bublé Christmas CD.
Producing albums since 2003 and hits such as 2009’s “Haven’t Met You Yet,” the modern day Frank Sinatra is known for his smooth, easy voice that causes you to melt like ice cream dropped on hot asphalt in summer but could also cause you to jump out of your seat and dance like Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers.
Bublé takes the iconic yet overplayed Christmas songs and jazzes them up with his known big band style. The light, calming beginning to the first track, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” opens the door to a fantasy Winter Wonderland while setting a soothing tone until the piped up, lengthened version of “Jingle Bells,” performed with the close harmony trio the Puppini Sisters.
The beat slows back through “White Christmas,” performed with country star Shania Twain, until “Holly Jolly Christmas,” which would have been a disappointment if it was not hyped up with the trumpets and saxophones.
“Santa Baby” turns into Santa Buddy, as Bublé changes the usually flirty song into something a male with a straight tongue can sing. Instead of wanting a “sable under the tree,”” 54 convertible too, light blue” and “decorations bought at Tiffany’s,” Bublé wants a Rolex, “a 65 convertible too, steel blue” and “decorations bought at Mercedes.”
No real Bublé twists happen again until “Blue Christmas.” You’d think a song talking about having a down-in-the-dumps Christmas without your loved one would be more be down-in-the-dumps sounding; this version with its too-pippi background music definitely needed to be sobered down.
One of my favorites on this album is “Cold December Night,” an original that Bublé made with Alan Chang and Bob Rock. Not sure if I like it because it’s the first song I haven’t heard every December (and sometimes July) for the last 21 years or because its joyful tune gives off the warm, happy feeling Christmas should. While not original, his take on “Jingle Bells” had to come in second for me as far as favorites go.
The Canadian singer ends on a spiritual note with the Latin Catholic prayer “Ave Maria” and an uplifting version of the Spanish “Mis Deseos/Feliz Navidad.” “Mis Deseos” preludes “Feliz Navidad” and is the other Bublé original made with Humberto Gatica, Alan Chang and Claudia Brant and sung with Mexican pop singer Thalia.
The bells don’t have to stop chiming after “Feliz Navidad” stops swaying. Bublé also released a special edition version of the album with three additional tracks. However, you can just YouTube those if you’d rather save a few dollars on a CD purchase.
So if you are looking for a jazz tuned holiday season that will make you either want to saunter along arm in arm with a loved one or hop along the street looking at decorated houses and smiling faces, Mr. Bublé’s album is right for you.
“This is Michael Bublé, wishing you a very Merry Christmas,” he says, signing off on his latest CD.
And a very Merry Christmas to you too, Mr. Bublé.