Four years on from Crazy Love (and two years after the seven million- selling Christmas collection), Canadian crooner Michael Buble wants to give us all a big-hearted embrace.
Relying less on slow tempo ballads, To Be Loved lives up to its title, offering a few originals, some well-chosen covers and a safety net of standards as an upbeat alternative to our troubled times.
I’m not sure the big band dynamics of opener You Make Me Feel So Young are the best way to begin, however: there’s an underlying aggression to the orchestration that lacks the swing sensibility of the good old days. But here and everywhere else, Buble’s satin voice and impeccable timing are the stars of the show, proving yet again he really is the 21st-century Sinatra.
He’s terrific on the classic soul stylings of the Bee Gees’ To Love Somebody and The Miracles’ Who’s Lovin’ You, and leaves Robbie Williams back at the starting line with the classy pop of It’s A Beautiful Day.
Only his best pals act with Bryan Adams (After All) and Reece Witherspoon (Something Stupid) are among a handful of tracks that don’t bring anything to the party.