Yes, he's fashioned a career out of singing other peoples' songs, but big band buff Michael Bublé's smooth-as-silk voice means that he just about gets away with it. His fourth album contains two originals and a number of jazz standards, as well as renderings of Eagles, Van Morrison and Ron Sexsmith songs.
It's hard not to like Michael Bublé. No really, it is. Apart from the puppy dog eyes, the endearing smile and the dapper apparel, the Canadian's ability to interpret other peoples' songs without completely destroying their sentiment is undeniably competent. OK, his range may be limited - the 34-year-old's career has been forged within the boundaries of big band and swing music - but whether it's his on own material or cover versions, that caramel-like voice can't be faulted.
His fourth album is the usual mix of self-penned songs and classic tunes, with helping hands from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (the sassy 'Baby, You've Got What it Takes') and his fellow Canadian Ron Sexsmith (a gorgeous telling of Sexsmith's own 'Whatever it Takes'). There are no huge surprises - apart, perhaps from the opening track, a rendition of the jazz standard 'Cry Me a River', which takes a bluesy torch song and transforms it into something befitting a Bond villain.
Elsewhere, there's a sumptuous telling of Hoagy Carmichael's 'Georgia on My Mind', and 'Stardust', the latter featuring vocal harmony group Naturally 7, and even an Eagles tune ('Heartache Tonight'), which works better with a big band arrangement than as a cheesy guitar anthem. Bublé's own tunes - the glitzy pop of 'Haven't Met You Yet' and slushy ballad 'Hold On' - sit just fine between the classics.
Of course, there are a couple of bloopers; although 'Crazy Love' is more languid than Van Morrison's original, it's a smidge too heavy on schmaltz. Still, if you don't mind the fact that Bublé is basically a human song recycler, then there's simply nobody that recycles songs in the way that he does, or as well as he does.