The Province

Buble fans will Love latest LP

Burnaby crooner goes heavy on the romance while adding healthy dash of classics on 11-track release

- STUART DERDEYN sderdeyn@postmedia.com twitter.com/stuartderd­eyn

Beloved Burnaby crooner Michael Buble has had more on his mind the last two years than merely making music and his latest album reflects that. But while the very serious challenges the crooner and his family have faced of late might be expected to produce some grit, he might be at his sweetest here.

He’s working familiar territory on all 11 tracks and really not taking any of the chances he did on 2016’s Nobody But Me.

The album is a collection of songs about — wait for it — love. The crooner is calling it his most romantic album. Is it? That remains for his fans to decide. Without question, he’s got them wholly in mind here.

Here are five things to know about Love:

1 THE CLASSICS

While he has always had eyes for the classics of the Frank Sinatra-era songbook, Buble stacks Love with even more than the usual number. From the opener I Only Have Eyes for You to My Funny Valentine and Unforgetta­ble, these chestnuts are wellroaste­d. Credit is due to him for being able to wring a bit more life out of some of these.

2 STRINGS, STRINGS AND MORE STRINGS

The orchestrat­ion here is huge and produced for maximum effect. Just check out the harp trills on the opener When I Fall In Love or those massive string section swoops on Where or When. You can practicall­y imagine the scene in a Hollywood classic where the song comes in; it’s that vintage and lush.

3 SUCH A NIGHT

There had to be at least one or two swinging, boogie numbers to avoid smothering the listener in schmaltz and Buble really digs into his version of

FIVETHINGS

this tune as well as letting the sax player and brass section go all full Nelson Riddle.

4 DUETS

There are two duets on Love, each pairing Buble’s smooth instrument against a distinctiv­e female voice. It works so well it’s surprising he hasn’t done a whole album of duets. La Vie en Rose with Cecile McLorin Salvant doesn’t really work, even if it features what I think might be Buble’s first French-language verses. Help Me Make it Through the Night with Loren Alfred is far more successful, perhaps because of how nicely the two get into this country classic. Buble has some Jim Reeves in there.

5 FOREVER NOW

This Buble-penned piano ballad proves, once again, that the guy can write quality material. No other track on the album comes close to the emotion expressed on this one. His phrasing is lovely.

ALSO ON THE PLAYLIST: WALKING THROUGH A FANTASY: FAKE SHARK | LIGHT ORGAN RECORDS

The latest seven-song EP from this long-running B.C. trio keeps mining the razorsharp dance/pop beats that they began exploring on Faux Real. From the Gorillaz-esque single Wake Up (ft. Fionn) to the synth-laden Madchester feel of Little Lies, this is all about keeping the energy up and the wah-wah guitar licks lashing. The opening tune Fantastic Hallucinat­ion boasts the best of early ’90s robotic vocals and sinuous bass runs. These guys can certainly play. Should make for a totally killer live show.

GOING LATE: HUMANS| HAVEN SOUNDS

This Vancouver electronic duo hits the dance floor hard on this new release, which announces its clubby intents on an addictive bass line and handclaps in the opener Breakfast with Liz and doesn’t let up. Minimalist and funky, songs such as Run (ft. So Loki) and Going Late all feature the breathy, haunted vocals that give the whole platter a sort of otherworld­ly, atmospheri­c pulse. The album lives up to its title as you can clearly experience that late night into the next day vibe from these slinky grooves.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC: LAIBACH | MUTE

Slovenian undergroun­d agitpop arts and music collective Laibach has already worked its distinctiv­e magic on The Beatles’ Let It Be, so why not The Sound of Music? Of course, taking their inspiratio­n for doing this interpreta­tion from an invitation to perform in North Korea where the 1965 film adaptation is a big hit, the band reworked the songs to suit its needs. Maria becomes Maria/Korea (How do you solve a problem like Maria/Korea?) and the traditiona­l Korean folksong Arirang finds its way into the mix, too. The project was turned into a movie — Liberation Day — directed by Morten Traavik and was recorded and produced in both Ljubljana and Pyongyang. It’s wonderfull­y weird and you’ve never heard the Lonely Goatherd until you’ve heard this resonating electropop version.

STARLIGHT: NEHIYAWAK | ARTS & CRAFTS

This trio from Amiskwaciy in Treaty 6 is almost certain to become the next big thing in the exploding First Nations music scene in Canada. Vocalist Kris Harper’s ability to veer from soft-spoken and quavering to ear-splitting falsetto over drummer Marek Tyler’s propulsive, jazzy and wooden — in the best possible way as Tyler actually plays a log in the spectacula­r Copper — drumming and Matthew Cardinal’s textural bass and synthesize­rs makes for some rock that can truly be considered alternativ­e. The songs address issues ranging from decoloniza­tion to violence against communitie­s and more.

 ??  ?? Burnaby crooner Michael Buble says his latest 11-song release, Love, is his most romantic album.
Burnaby crooner Michael Buble says his latest 11-song release, Love, is his most romantic album.

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