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Michael Bublé: New album uneven

‘To Be Loved’ Michael Bublé

Canadian crooner Michael Bublé projects a strange dichotomy in his eighth studio album, “To Be Loved.” It combines old and new, happy and blue, romance and more romance. His evident penchant for the golden standards, which he covers with aplomb, is what saves the record from sounding too modernly hollow. It’s also the reason it sounds uneven, meandering from harried contemporary pop like “Close Your Eyes” to the smooth, seductive Dean Martin tune “Nevertheless (I’m in Love With You).”

The four originals on the 14-track album were all co-written by Bublé, but apart from his joie de vivre and emotive voice, they mostly fail to capture the imagination. Not even the Bryan Adams collaboration on “After All,” or Bublé’s deceivingly upbeat single, “It’s a Beautiful Day,” can save it from a big yawn chain.

It’s Bublé’s love for middle 20th-century music that keeps this album in the middle of the road: As an artist, Bublé needs to become his own man.

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