In his newest album, “Higher,” Michael Bublé steps out of his normal box of Christmas covers. While half of the album are still covers of some sort, Bublé takes this album as a chance to experiment with some music settings he hadn’t before. Bublé has been sending hits to the charts since the mid 2000s, with a mix of covers and original songs. In “Higher,” Bublé pays tribute to people he has looked up to in the music world, as well as to his own family and loved ones that have journeyed with him over the years.
Bublé is primarily known for his smooth, soulful voice being used for Christmas covers and smooth jazz tunes that could be sung at a romantic couple’s dance. “Higher” definitely includes these types of songs, and they are as slow and sultry as ever. All of the covers that Bublé chose to sing for this album either included the original artist in the process or paid significant tribute to their tone and sound. The second song of the album, “My Valentine,” was a collaboration with former Beatles member, Sir Paul McCartney. The song itself is a cover of McCartney’s version from the 2012 album “Kisses on the Bottom” in the style of Frank Sinatra’s song, “It Was a Very Good Year,” which explains the sweeping strings that play in the background of the track.
“A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” was originally by Vera Lynn in 1940. While Lynn’s version is more gentle with a piano backdrop, Bublé’s version pays tribute to the big band style of the time. “Make You Feel My Love” is a peppy cover of the Bob Dylan song, reminiscent of the style of Bob Marley, who also was an early player in the song’s beginning.
“Crazy,” which is originally by Willie Nelson in 1961, is a vocal collaboration with Nelson himself and is in the original style of the song. The album also includes covers of a plethora of jazz classics, being “Bring It On Home to Me,” originally by Sam Cooke in 1962, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” by Duke Ellington in 1940, “Smile” by Nat King Cole in 1954 and “Don’t Take Your Love From Me,” a song written by Henry Nemo in 1941. The last cover Bublé includes is a fun, disco style cover of Barry White’s “My First, My Last, My Everything.” This choice was inspired by his children who would dance around the room every time the song played.
While Bublé has a consistent sound across most of his recent albums, the original tracks he releases always leave a distinct print. That has not changed with this new album, holding original hits inspired by his family. Bublé opens up the album with “I’ll Never Not Love You,” which serves as a sequel to his 2009 hit, “Haven’t Met You Yet,” both songs being inspired by, written and filmed with his now wife, Luisana Lopilato. The music video holds nods to several recognizable romantic movies and ends in a grocery store with Bublé’s family, the same setting as the 2009 hit’s video.
“Baby I’ll Wait” holds a tune that is reminiscent of John Mayer, so much so that Bublé reached out to Mayer to offer a writing credit so Mayer wouldn’t mistake Bublé’s work as plagiarism. “Mother” is a heartfelt ballad dedicated to the hardworking traits of a mother, including lyrics such as “a fighter and a lover” and “you would work your hands to the bone.”
The album’s title track, “Higher,” is a new form of music to Bublé, combining pop elements of the song with a symphonic orchestral arrangement. The chorus itself was inspired by Bublé’s son, who conjured the lyrics one day with Bublé, which he then took to one of his writers to craft a song around it. “Higher” has an addictive tune with a stunning arrangement, it won’t be leaving listener’s ears anytime soon.
Bublé has made a triumphant return to the recording world, and this album came straight from his heart.