While there’s nothing overtly original about the new Michael Buble Christmas album, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing magical about it. On the contrary, Buble’s Christmas album is the perfect extension to the seasonal staple Let It Snow, the five track EP that set the bar for traditional Christmas recordings in 2003. The 18-track deluxe edition is a brilliant and perfectly crafted big band romp in the vein of Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
Throughout the album Buble appears to have fun, especially on the upbeat numbers like the new recording of White Christmas, a traditional duet with Shania Twain that sounds like something you’d hear on a nickel and dime jukebox in a greasy diner.
Buble’s voice was made for this stuff. No matter how good his original albums sound or how many hits he can generate, there’s nothing better than some seasonal music from a true master of the craft. His voice matches the Christmas theme perfectly, almost as if he’s narrating his way through the best Christmas of our lives.
He reworks a wide range of Christmas classics on this release including Blue Christmas, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Jingle Bells and a role reversal version of Santa Baby (calling the old jolly one Santa Buddy, Santa Pally and Santa Poppy), amongst others. One of the more interesting remakes is his version of Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You, which is stripped of its original Motown influences in favour of a more classic piano/keyboard groove. Meanwhile, Silent Night and It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas and just about every track on the album showcase Buble’s amazing voice.
Latin star Thalia also joins Michael Buble for a grand version of Mes Deseos/Feliz Navidad, which closes the regular version of the album. The Latin rumba shakers and Thalia’s overpowering voice give the song a feel unlike any Buble tunes of the past. It’s a fun and celebratory track and a grand way to end the standard version of Christmas.
Deluxe Edition add-ons include two big band classics Winter Wonderland and Frosty The Snowman, while a slick 1940s pop version of Silver Bells rounds out the ambitious and highly enjoyable Christmas album.