Frank Sinatra is in my big book of overrated singers alongside Bob Dylan and Elvis. So it’s all the more surprising that I am about to rave about someone who started his performing career impersonating Presley and Sinatra. On the evidence of his latest album, It’s Time, Michael Bublé is going to be huge. More than that, he will be a Canadian pop music superstar you can like without being embarrassed. This, after all, is the country that gave us Rush, Bryan Adams, Céline Dion, Nickelback, and Alanis Morrissette.
It’s Time isn’t perfect. Bublé lapses into unconvincing scat more than once. (Is it possible to sing scat convincingly?) A couple of the tracks are just pastiche—albeit beautifully executed. The production overwhelms occasionally with its close-miked, larger-than-life, I’ve-got-Pro Tools-and-I’m-gonna-use-it excess; the lead singer’s voice is embedded in such a shiny, saturated, widescreen soundscape that he sometimes becomes a monochrome gnome in the land of Oz. I haven’t tried it, but I bet he’s smothered occasionally if you’re listening on a radio with one speaker.
But so many important things about this recording are so right. Despite being an award-winning songwriter himself, and contributing to one superb song out of the thirteen on this album, Bublé defers to some other promising composers: George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Dozier/Holland/Holland, Lennon and McCartney, and Stevie Wonder. Talent recognizes genius.
And what talent! It helps that his voice is beautifully recorded, but Michael Bublé has it. His range at the top end is shorter than Sinatra’s in his prime (has A Foggy Day been transposed down from its original key?), but Bublé has better technique and intonation and—a matter of taste, I know—a far more pleasing texture to his voice—or rather textures, because his other edge over Sinatra is I always felt that, with the Chairman of the Board, the performance was just short of persuasive. Bublé can croon, but he can whisper, he can growl, he can swing, he can soar and—most of the time—he sings it like he means it. If you can’t stretch to the full price album—I bought it reasonably cheaply online with a bunch of others—then at least try to buy/hear the single Feeling Good. Yes, Michael Bublé is so gifted that I am recommending his version of an Anthony Newley song.
Nelly “I-claim-my-record-company-‘shoves-away-my-ethnicity‘ even-as-it-hypes-it-shamelessly*” Furtado turns in a performance of Nancy Sinatra competence—without the charm—on the duet Quando, Quando, Quando. I take no responsibility for any damage you might find yourself doing to your hi-fi equipment if you accidentally fail to skip that track.
[*How “ethnic” or “powerless” can a Portuguese popstar living in Canada be anyway?]
Thank God soemone else out there thinks Sinatra’s overrated. He was good, but just not that good. What really pisses me off is that, had he been a little less lauded as a singer, he’d probably have been forced to do more acting to pay the rent. And he was a bloody brilliant actor. He was in far too few films. When I listen to his recordings, I’m thinking “That’s yet more time pissed away in a recording studio when he could have been in front of a camera.” Grr.
I see that you’re a Bublé fan!…. Be sure to check out The Daily Bublé which is the home of Bubléland’s favourite newspaper! If it’s happening in Bubléland, you’ll read about it in The Daily Bublé!
lol… foolish people to think that Sinatra is/was over rated. Micheal is good i like listening to him, but mantioning him and Mr Sinatra in the same sentence is just an insult to The Chairman… aka The Voice.
Elvis is definitely not over rated, and he is definitely better than Sinatra. Dylan, however, doesn’t even sing in key half the time. Elvis can do pretty much any of that crap like ‘growling’ ‘whispering’. He has a powerful vibrato, a nearly 3 octave range, and he can hold out notes for a looong time. I’ve also never heard him miss a note.
Mel Torme, The Velvet Fog, does it to me every time even though there’s little pain in his world, at least on the albums I’ve heard.
I agree Sinatra was a true noir actor, the fatalistic outsider looking in. There’s a great scene in Tony Rome where soured, disillusioned, fullly aware of his fate, he watches chloroform being poured onto a cloth for himself and he says ‘when’.
Interesting fact, but did you know that Mel Torme was once Dame Thora Hird’s son in law!
What a bunch of drivel……..Buble on a GOOD day .. couldn’t carry Sinatra’s suitcase. However, to be fair….nobody could or can. End of story!
[…] And you know already how I feel about the output of Nelly Furtado. […]
Is the blue Nelly Furtado`s real eye color? Can it be possible if she`s natural hair color is black? What you think?
Its true. Frank Sinatra is so overrated as a singer. Its all hype with Frank. “Oh its Frank Sinatra so it must be good”. He actually sings flat. Go and listen and you will see where i’m coming from. Sometimes I listen to him singing and i’m thinking “thats not even a note” At times, at the end of a line he goes completely off key, none more so than during New York, New York. Matt Munro was so much better.
“Ol’ Blue Eyes” was a nickname given to Frank Sinatra.
It’s hard to be in a minority of people that think old blue eyes was overrated. Don’t get me wrong. He was a great entertainer, but as a singer I can think of lots of other recording artists that top him.
It is crazy, but true. Folks will snap on you if you say a bad word about the man. The fact is I can live with or without him.