A Contemporary Bubble of Traditional Pop Music

A Contemporary Bubble of Traditional Pop Music

On Michael Bublé & His Music

Michael Bublé’s music is another proof that genres never really die; they simply soldier on in a seeming commercial plateau (like Classical, from Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven of the previous centuries to this generation’s Philip Glass, John Williams, Alan Silvestri, and Hans Zimmer), evolve (for instance, Punk Rock to Pop Punk, as in Sex Pistols to blink-182; or Heavy Metal to Thrash Metal, as in Black Sabbath to Slayer), get updated (from classic Rock ‘n’ Roll to standard Rock, like Chuck Berry to Elvis Presley to Bruce Springsteen), or combine with one another (Classical plus Rock equals Progressive Rock, like Gentle Giant and Emerson, Lake & Palmer; or Country and Pop becomes Country Pop, as in Taylor Swift and Keith Urban).

In the case of Bublé, after having listened to the entirety of his eight-album discography, I would say that his music may be regarded as a fine example of contemporary Traditional Pop that has light jazz, swing, and lounge sensibilities—a familiar style that harks to the music of the likes of Edith Piaf (1915–1963), Perry Como (1912–2001), Bing Crosby (1903–1977), Nat King Cole (1919–1965), Frank Sinatra (1915–1998), Tony Bennett (1926–present), Linda Ronstadt (1946–present), Diana Krall (1964–present), and even the band The Mike Flowers Pops that came to mainstream prominence in the late ’90s.

Basically, Traditional Pop is a genre of music that is best defined by smooth and soulful vocal parts and a lush arrangement of primarily strings, horns, double bass, piano, and percussion—what may be described also as a pared-down version of the big-band sound of the 1920s and early ’30s.

Born on September 9, 1975, in Burnaby, British Columbia, Michael Bublé is a contemporary Canadian Traditional Pop singer/songwriter. To date, Bublé has eight full-length studio albums to his credit: BaBaLu (2001), Dream (2002), Michael Bublé (2003), It’s Time (2005), Call Me Irresponsible (2007), Crazy Love (2009), Christmas (2011), and To Be Loved (2013).

Concert Review (MTS Centre, Winnipeg, June 26)

The Winnipeg leg of Bublé’s world tour in support of his eighth studio album was certainly well loved. The excitement and the applause of the packed crowd, from the slick crooner’s opening spiel to his final a cappella rendition of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You,” had emanated strongly within the confines of MTS Centre that Thursday night, June 26. Bublé treated the ever-engaged audience to a lavish 24-song set that was comprised by selections from his albums, which included “Fever” (Little Willie John), my personal favorite “Haven’t Met You Yet” (original), “Try a Little Tenderness” (popularized by Otis Redding’s version), “You Make Me Feel So Young” (popularized by Frank Sinatra), “Moondance” (Van Morrison), “Feeling Good” (popularized by Ina Simone’s version), “That’s All” (popularized by Nat King Cole ), “Close Your Eyes” (original), “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” (Bee Gees), “Home” (original), “Cry Me a River” (popularized by Barbra Streisand), and “Save the Last Dance for Me” (The Drifters). What set Bublé’s live presentation of his music apart from those of other Traditional Pop–oriented artists was the accompaniment of his 13-person backup band (complete with a horn section), which really gave the whole performance an organic and classy feel—something that is usually missing in many almost karaoke-style Pop concerts. Not content with his backup band, Bublé was then joined by a local eight-piece string section that gave more life to the other songs. The whole concert was indeed a great musical experience, especially for people who views music not just as a form of entertainment but also as art appreciation.

A well-deserved commendation goes also to Bublé’s opening act, Naturally 7, a New York–based seven-men R&B vocal group who equally wowed the audience and properly warmed them up with their purely a cappella rendition of an eclectic set that included Seal & Crofts’ “Summer Breeze,” Coldplay’s “Fix,” Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips,” and James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” The group also joined Bublé near the end of the show with energetic renditions of The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back,” The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love,” and the original “It’s a Beautiful Day.”

Final Note

Traditional Pop or R&B may not be favorite music genres of mine, but watching well-produced and well-presented concerts of artists under the genres could still move me and lift my creative spirits high.