MICHAEL BU­BLE

There’s no busi­ness like snow busi­ness for Michael Bu­ble, writes James Wigney

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

Christ­mas al­bum fills crooner with spirit.

MICHAEL Bu­ble ad­mits it was a lit­tle odd to be mak­ing a Christ­mas al­bum in July, with the sun beat­ing down in the Los An­ge­les sum­mer.

The Cana­dian crooner ( pic­tured) is more ac­cus­tomed to the chest­nuts- roast­ing- onan- open- fire kind of fes­tive sea­son at home with fam­ily in frigid Vancouver.

Not that the sen­ti­men­tal old softie was too fussed – if he had his way, he’d have Christ­mas ev­ery day of the year.

‘‘ You know what, I love Christ­mas so much that I could sing these songs and talk about it all day, ev­ery day,’’ he says. ‘‘ It’s my favourite time of year.’’

Christ­mas was – and is – a big deal in Bu­ble’s house­hold. He still gets a lit­tle choked up talk­ing about fam­ily gath­er­ings he re­mem­bers from his child­hood.

These days, Christ­mas is a rather dif­fer­ent beast but no less cel­e­brated.

The 36- year- old mar­ried Ar­gen­tine ac­tor and model Luisana Lopi­lato in Buenos Aires in March.

‘‘ My whole band are my best friends, so they all came and . . . we had a blast,’’ Bu­ble says of the wed­ding bash.

Bu­ble now gath­ers his new ex­tended fam­ily around him to cel­e­brate Christ­mas, kick­ing off on De­cem­ber 24, when Ar­gen­tines tra­di­tion­ally cel­e­brate, and rolling into the next day.

‘‘ My wife’s whole fam­ily comes to stay with me and we all spend Christ­mas to­gether at my house in Vancouver,’’ Bu­ble says.

‘‘ It was the cutest freak­ing thing last year be­cause I brought them up to a moun­tain near my house and for the first time her mother and fa­ther and sis­ter and brother saw snow. My 56- year- old fa­ther- in- law turned into an 11- year- old.’’

What some call the silly sea­son also helped put Bu­ble on the course to be­com­ing the global su­per­star he is to­day. Bing Crosby’s White Christ­mas al­bum ranks among the most in­flu­en­tial of Bu­ble’s life.

‘‘ I was just a kid, five or six years old, and it was my in­tro­duc­tion to jazz and the dul­cet tones of his vo­cals and that style,’’ he says. ‘‘ I love those songs.’’

Such al­bums are, let’s face it, a pretty mixed Santa sack, more of­ten stock­ing fillers than Christ­mas crack­ers. But such is Bu­ble’s en­thu­si­asm that he con­sid­ers his new al­bum, sim­ply ti­tled Christ­mas – which fea­tures Jin­gle Bells, Santa Claus Is Com­ing To Town and White Christ­mas – to be his most im­por­tant to date.

Bu­ble has, in fact, al­ready had a stab – with the 2004 Christ­mas EP Let It Snow – that he would still rather for­get.

He says he was pres­sured into mak­ing it in a hurry at a time when he had no power and it left a bit­ter taste in his mouth.

‘‘ It’s not my Christ­mas record but I re­ally didn’t have any power at the start – but in time you be­come the 900- pound go­rilla.’’

Such is Bu­ble’s clout now that when his record com­pany wanted him to take a sim­i­lar ap­proach for Christ­mas, he had his an­swer ready.

He in­sisted on as­sem­bling an en­tire or­ches­tra – with strings, horns, harps and per­cus­sion – in the stu­dio and record­ing the en­tire al­bum live.

‘‘ We did about five takes and took the best one and re­ally cap­tured a great en­ergy and the essence of what it is to play these songs live,’’ Bu­ble says.

‘‘ There were a lot of peo­ple in the room and we were all ex­cited and in the Christ­mas spirit, even though it was July.’’

Bu­ble has also in­cluded a duet with Mex­i­can su­per­star Thalia on the al­bum, en­sur­ing his Span­ish lan­guage skills get a workout.

De­spite tak­ing lessons so he can speak to his new wife and in- laws in their na­tive tongue, he rates his Es­panol as ‘‘ mierda’’.

‘‘ It’s such an emo­tional heart lan­guage and English is not, it’s very cold,’’ he says. ‘‘ We have ‘ I love you’. They have seven dif­fer­ent ways to say that. And they speak re­ally quickly too.’’

Aus­tralian fans will be dis­ap­pointed to learn that Bu­ble can’t see him­self com­ing back to what has al­ways been one of his best mar­kets any time soon.

Right now he’s fo­cus­ing on en­joy­ing mar­ried life and start­ing a fam­ily.

‘‘ Me and Lu are re­ally hop­ing to be preg­nant by next Christ­mas,’’ he says.

‘‘ It would be re­ally great and nice.’’

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