There’s an old joke going around the internet at the moment about how it’s time for Michael Bublé to come out of his cave due to the holiday season coming up. The joke plays on the idea that he seems to be much more prominent at this time of year and, while that’s a cynical view, it does seem to have some truth to it, with his latest album Nobody But Me being released as the nights grow long.
By Jane Howkins
Interestingly, there aren’t any holiday-themed songs on the album, but most of the tracks here also wouldn’t feel out of place at a Christmas party. That’s really the main appeal of Bublé: he provides great background music in an easy listening style and, if that’s your cup of tea, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, sometimes there doesn’t seem to be much substance beneath the surface and that’s where it falls a bit flat.
The lead single from the album is the title track, which you’ll probably have heard recently if you own a radio. It’s catchy and the sort of song that listeners will find themselves humming hours later. Other songs in the same pop vein include Today Is Yesterday’s Tomorrow and I Believe In You, with the latter taking a more acoustic rock feel and also being one of the better songs on the record. In terms of the other side of his work, On An Evening In Rome (Sotter Celo De Roma) is charming, and a cover of Nina Simone’s My Baby Just Cares For Me show just how good he can be when he is at his prime.
This leads us to the other slight issue, which is that he doesn’t quite seem to know what style he’s aiming for. He started out singing jazz and swing songs and was arguably very good at that, but in recent years he’s strayed in a more pop-based direction. Nobody But Me straddles both genres, but it sometimes feels like he’s trying to do too much at once. There are more songs that feature his jazz stylings, however that is counterbalanced by unexpected rapping on the title track and a collaboration with Meghan Trainor on Someday. There’s also a rather poignant version of the Beach Boys’ God Only Knows to finish the record, which is a welcome surprise if a little dirgey. This is by no means a bad album and there are some great tracks here but it seems as if Bublé needs to find his niche again.
Nobody But Me by Michael Bublé was released on 21 October 2016