Ask Michael Bublé how he felt going in to record his third studio album, Call Me Irresponsible, and this artist with 11 million albums sold and two Grammy nominations under his belt can sum it up in one word.
“Terrified,” he says simply. Terrified?
“Completely, because I knew that it had to be better than the first two • that it had to show growth without alienating anyone, and that’s a tough line. So I sat there from the very beginning and came up with the songs, put together the skeleton, and thought about what arrangers I would hire. I even ended up at the mastering session, which artists rarely attend. I wanted to be involved in every aspect because I wanted it to be conceptually beautiful.”
Bublé has certainly achieved success on that front. As with his previous two 143/Reprise bestsellers, 2003’s self-titled debut and 2005’s multi-platinum follow-up It’s Time, Call Me Irresponsible boasts more of Bublé’s buoyant, modern interpretations of standards from a variety of eras, including songs by such greats as Leonard Cohen, Eric Clapton, Cy Coleman, Gamble and Huff, and others, as well as two self-penned originals, including the first single, the uplifting love song called “Everything.”
But it’s hardly business as usual for this Vancouver native. It never is for Bublé, whose irrepressible spirit, engaging humor, and confident charisma once led the New York Times to call him “an entertainer who is completely at home on the stage.” His new CD, which he calls “my remark on the state of love,” contains a depth of feeling that will surprise and delight long-term fans and impress those new to his music. “To me, what’s different about this CD is that it has a certain raw emotion because I recorded many of these songs live in the studio.” Bublé introduces the electrifying, impeccably orchestrated set to follow with the opening track, Cy Coleman’s “The Best Is Yet To Come,” (made famous by Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and others). Then there’s the exhilarating, salsa-flavored “It Had Better Be Tonight,” written by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini, which Bublé attacks with a hot-blooded vengeance•“another very sexy song…and edgy.” From there, he takes on “Me and Mrs. Jones,” the 1972 Gamble and Huff classic popularized by soul singer Billy Paul. “David (Foster) brought it to me, I’d never actually heard it before,” Bublé says. “We wanted it to be authentic and tell the story.” Next up is Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man” from the Canadian singer/songwriter’s 1988 album of the same name. “I always thought it was a wonderful song • desperate, sexy, and dark,” Bublé says. “I actually called Leonard and told him I was afraid of performing it live. When he asked me why, I said because he’d written too sexy of a song and I was afraid men were going to throw their underpants at me. He just laughed and said, ‘I wouldn’t worry too much about that.’”