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Music Rewind: Michael Buble jazzes up Christmas classic on ‘Let It Snow’

Maija Gustin | Thursday, December 2, 2010

Love him or hate him, Michael Bublé can sing. And his jazz-infused style is perfect when it comes to Christmas songs. In 2003, Bublé released a Christmas EP called “Let It Snow,” featuring his jazzy renditions of six classic Christmas songs. Bublé’s “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” “The Christmas Song,” “Grown-Up Christmas List,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “White Christmas” are beautifully done and should immediately be added to your Christmas playlist.

“Let It Snow” is easily one of the most joyous Christmas songs in the book. Bublé is perhaps a little more mature-sounding than what we’re used to as he slides between notes, but it loses nothing in translation. Backed by a small jazz combo, the song highlights Bublé’s skillful musicality and always-smooth voice.

 “The Christmas Song” is, as its title suggests, perhaps the ultimate Christmas classic. Every recording artist with any Christmas spirit in them has done their own version, including the original recording by Nat King Cole. It’s hard to compete with that kind of pedigree. But Bublé’s version is beautiful and charming, staying true to the song’s roots while still adding much of his own style. Give it a listen, and all you’ll want to do is stoke the fire, grab a mug of hot chocolate and curl up with someone special. And that’s not a bad thing.

“The Grown-Up Christmas List” is less famous than some of the other Christmas songs on the album. Perhaps it’s due to lack of familiarity, but “Grown-Up Christmas List” isn’t as good as the rest of Bublé’s album. However, Bublé still sounds wonderful and the song is a welcome addition at Christmas time.

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is infectious from its first note. More melodic than other versions of the song, Bublé’s is stunningly beautiful and infused with a little Christmas magic.

Bublé’s jazz standard take on “White Christmas” is one of the less remarkable songs on the EP. However, his voice is smooth as always and the song is a welcome addition to any Christmas playlist.

The album closes with a live version of “Let It Snow,” which includes a little audience participation on the chorus. It doesn’t have the same cheerful, comforting sound of the studio version that opens the album, but showcases Bublé’s real vocal talents.

Bublé’s “Let It Snow” is certainly not the ultimate Christmas CD. But rather than trying to redo every Christmas song ever made, he selects a nice, small group that suit his voice and musical style extremely well. He changes the songs enough to make them fitting for him, but maintains the integrity of the original, and beloved, classics. “The Christmas Song” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” are remarkable, to say the least. So whether you’re a jazz fan or not, whether you loved his rendition of “Feeling Good” or loathed it, spice up your Christmas music with something from “Let It Snow.”

 

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Maija Gustin at mgustin@nd.edu