To Be Loved review by Michael Bublé

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  • Released: Apr 22, 2013
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 3
  • Overall Impression: 3
  • Reviewer's score: 4 Poor
  • Users' score: 5 (34 votes)
Michael Bublé: To Be Loved
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Sound — 6
Michael Bubl is an exceedingly famous Canadian singer-songwriter who topped the charts for over a month with each of his last two albums. And, if Amazon's album charts are any indication, he looks poised to do it again with his eighth studio album, "To Be Loved". Of the fourteen songs on the album, ten are covers, many of which are Frank Sinatra covers.

In a sense, the album's title sums up the album. All of his songs are cushy, ballad-like love songs. While the music on the album is fine, his voice, as usual, sounds like one of those singers from the post-Elvis '50s and '60s; pretty boys that dressed up in suits and never said anything inflammatory and were simple in every way. Rock and roll came along and artists like them off the proverbial musical cliff in the mid '60s with bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Kinks.

At least, that's how I picture it. Due in part to this, Bubl's audience is mostly middle-aged listeners, somewhat made up of the kids whose parents convinced them that KISS stood for Knights In Service of Satan (and similar situations). I know that this is taking a shot at some people, but I feel that it is necessary in order to get my point across.

In terms of the actual music, it is somewhat jazzy, often including horns. For the most part, pianos and synthesizers are used to compliment the occasional acoustic, Spanish, or electric guitar. Of the original songs, the poppy musical arrangements and chord progressions are nothing groundbreaking, but then again, they are not meant to be. As a result of Bubl's use of tried and true methods, the songs are musically pleasant. To complement the music, Bob Rock adds superb production to the album that helps the album to shine where it is able. As to the covers, Bubl almost faithfully recreates them and does not insult them in any way, though his constant vocal delivery diminishes the unique soul in each song.

"After All" is the only song on the album that approaches rock, and even that song featured a guest appearance by Bryan Adams. While I am on the topic of guest appearances, one was made by Reese Witherspoon, in her vocal debut, and one was made by the Puppini Sisters as well as Naturally 7. In my opinion, the Puppini Sisters and Naturally 7 fulfilled their intended purpose, but the appearance of Witherspoon was a mistake. On her song, "Somethin' Stupid", she just sings along with Bubl, copying his vocal delivery. Her voice isn't anything special and honestly, the song would have been better off if she had done nothing at all. It almost felt like her appearance fulfilled an obligatory, contractual promise.

Lyrics — 3
In terms of Bubl himself, I can see why rock had to get rid of people like him in the minds of young people. His overused, seemingly copied, vocal delivery just makes me want to punch him. I'm sure he's a nice person, and I respect anyone who can make a successful career in the music business while writing original music. However, when this album comes on, it is time to grimace slightly and slowly walk away. This album, especially the vocals, feels like the old mainstream, like the old establishment. It is honestly the perfect time to play "I Wanna Rock", the song that is basically the you-know-what to this type of establishment pop.

As one can infer, his vocals are infuriating. The vocals alone make me want to throw this album out of my window. While these feelings aren't truly justified, the focus that this genre of music places on the vocals just adds to the incorrect justification. To clarify, Bubl's vocals aren't musically displeasing; they just have this feeling, a nuance about them that makes them enflaming in the way I previously described. I understand his approach, I just dislike it.

In terms of lyrics, the songs that Michael Bubl chose to cover have simple, non-inflammatory lyrics that are meant to create no controversy and that any parent/grandparent can accept. With his original songs, Bubl continues on a trend that was once considered relevant, but what I currently consider outdated and uninspired, even if he did so on purpose.

Here are some of the simple, socially acceptable lyrics from one his original songs, "I Got It Easy":

"Never been in trouble,
And never got hurt.
Never had to struggle,
And never had to work.
Hard for anything before, believe me!

Lord, I've got it easy!
I feel guilty little, I've been given so much
People are dying in dark while I'm lying in the sun
And I sleep like a baby, every night it seems
I'm having the sweetest dreams!
I can say honestly, I got it easy!
"

Overall Impression — 3
Overall, Michael Bubl stays on the safe and steady path with "To Be Loved". While I respect Bubl's direction, I sorely dislike it. I understand that he already has a formula that he considers a winning formula, but I think that at this point, Bubl has more to gain from pushing the envelope than to lose.

Alexa.com indicates that UG visitors are mostly 24 years-old and younger. This album will not appeal to that audience, unless certain people therein are big Sinatra fans. If Bubl's lyrics and delivery became as interesting as his music sometimes promises, then my opinion would change.

As it stands, I will (hyperbolically) push "I Wanna Rock" through my head like a child until I forget this album.

40 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dam_That_River
    HOLY COW ULTIMATE GUITAR HOW DARE YOU REVIEW AN ARTIST THAT ISN'T TEH BROOTAL METALZ HOW DARE YOU EXPAND MUSIC GENRES AND REVIEW OTHER ALBUMS JUST HOW DARE YOU
    repoTHEemo
    Just what I was thinking! Buble may not be your cup of tea, but there's nothing wrong with reviewing other genres!
    leony03
    Whats wrong with Micheal Bubl? I don't really know why its on here but hes a decent artist amongst the sea of crap.
    Vicious_Turtle
    he is, he has a great voice too. just goes to show the typical ignorant uger. HE DUZNT UZE AN 8 STRING????
    leony03
    Yeah man, hes got a great voice. So much better live than on the album as well. haha xD
    Pablo Mortis
    You know, I don't even like Michael Buble - I just came on here to view the angry comments xD
    Boomer904
    I understand UG is trying to expand reviews for different genre's but why would review something that they are just bashing for fun? I respect Buble as a singer and to rate the lyrics at a 3 just comes across as ignorant by the UG team. UG should expand their music reviews, I just pray that they get someone more objective next time.
    iommi600
    Holy shite, sometimes I hate the comments section. Ask any mod around here about what UG is and he/she will tell you it's a MUSIC website. That's why we can find music from Kanye West to Miles Davis if we search for their names in the reviews section. For a music website, it can only be good to be open to different styles of music. It makes the page richer in content and also attracts new kinds of music audiences. You can either recognize it belongs here, whether you like it or not. OR... come across as a complete gobshite by saying a MUSIC album shouldn't be featured by a MUSIC website.
    saint_berzerker
    Then why is this site called "Ultimate Guitar"? Do you not see the problem here?
    iommi600
    That you should ask the moderators, too. Last time I talked to one was when I checked the feedback thread in the UG forum about contributions (I was planning to review something by Ice Cube) and was told this is a music website, not only a guitar website. Now, if the name's inappropriate or anything, that's none of my concern. But if the website already featured people like Eminem and Kanye West, then I most likely believe in the mods' word on this one. I do see the problem here: all the elitism.
    saint_berzerker
    Other genres is fine...but this is a GUITAR website. Stop with the "holier than thou", "you're all close-minded" comments. This is vocal jazz...as even stated in the genre type in the reviews title.
    jameshudson92
    Its transcended guitar.These days its a 'music' website with some of things they've posted
    Pope668
    "Alexa.com indicates that UG visitors are mostly 24 years-old and younger." I'm older than most of you... Only part of the review that stuck...
    jamie_hough
    What on earth is this album being reviewed on here for? I swear UG does things like this just to stir things up...
    SGofawesome
    Like I said on the Fall Out Boy review: This isn't ultimate-metal.com, it's ultimate-guitar.com.
    FlyingPirahna
    Yet somehow, I doubt Buble fits into this site's core demographic in any way. UG's metal boner aside, I do honestly believe they put reviews like this in the top spot (versus, say, Frank Turner's new album) just to stir the pot.
    BB6
    He isn't my kind of music at all, but holy hell can that guy sing.
    J.Berzerker
    I don't question the fact that there should be as many music styles covered as possible, but Bubl isn't even a guitar player. I don't care if the artist is playing classical, pop, country or whatever as long as it is guitar-driven music.
    Darrenmce
    "His overused, seemingly copied, vocal delivery just makes me want to punch him." Say whatever you want about the music itself (Personally, I don't mind Michael Buble) but with lines like this from the reviewer really shows how unprofessional of a review this is.
    johnno13777
    @Dam_That_River... Do you not think that the album is slightly out of place on a guitar-based website? Do you think that micahelbuble.com is dissecting the new Megadeth album? Of course most people want there horizons broadened but if you visit ultimate-guitar.com aren't you here for the guitar rather than just visiting a general music website?
    jamie_hough
    I agree entirely dude. My comment above is also getting hate but what I find funny is that these people who call out UG users for being braindead metal fans (Personally Im not by the way), are also a part of a group of UGers who defend any and all genres like theyre some sort of genre knights. The point I, and you, are making is that its out of place, not that its 'bad' or unworthy of review.
    Animadantis
    I agree with this not belonging here, and am not some metal elitist. This site is actually quite horrible for getting reviews on actual guitar music. I mean just a couple months ago I put up a review for Guthrie Govans album which came out in 2006, one example but the list goes on. Not saying I hate Michael Buble or anything, but get this shite off the front page and gimme some GUITAR reviews.
    chrisdazzo
    Really odd to see this on here. I'll just be over here beating this dead horse, don't mind me.