“TO BE LOVED” BY MICHAEL BUBLÉ
“I think it’s the best album I’ve ever made…I know every artist on earth says that when their new album is coming out but really - this time it’s true. I swear. You can ask my mother. But don’t take my word for it or my mom’s. Play it yourself and you’ll see and hear I’m telling the honest truth. I want to take you on a wonderful journey about love – all different kinds of love. The album swings big time – it rocks – it’s soulful – it’s happy –sometimes a little sad - it’s romantic – it’s yummy and it’s heartfelt.
Do not think I take my success these last ten years for granted. I was anything but an overnight sensation which inspires me to deliver big time for my fans – maybe even make some new ones this time out. Trust me, there’s no sitting back, no dialing in for me. I labored over every song, every note and every arrangement because I can’t resist trying to make each record better than my last one. It helps that I’m pretty happy in my life at the moment and feel that I’ve really grown a lot as a songwriter and interpreter of great songs. On “To Be Loved” I felt a new sense of freedom to create and kind of take things further – maybe take a few risks and dig deep to find some gems.
For starters I wrote four songs – twice as many as on my previous record. Once again, I wrote with my usual great collaborators including my musical director Alan Chang, Amy Foster Giles and Jann Arden. I also wrote with my fellow Canadian - the great Bryan Adams, eh...Little aside here… The first album I ever bought was “Reckless in 1985” by Bryan Adams. He was such a big hero of mine and still is. Imagine how thrilling it was to write with him and then go into the studio and record “After All” the song we wrote together.
The first single, “It’s A Beautiful Day” is what I’d call an “anti-love” song – maybe a kind of revenge song. It sounds like a really happy song but if you listen closely it’s a song for all of us (yes I include myself) who have been dumped but realize that it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened because life is beautiful out there and sometimes when your heart is broken you forget that. I’ve been the jerk in a relationship and have been on the receiving end of a break up so I have a good perspective. I’d describe the song as the good and the bad of love. Another song I’m pretty proud of which I also co-wrote is “Close Your Eyes”. I wrote it about my wife and about the power of all the women in my life – my sisters, my mom, my grandma and all women in general. Let’s face it, where would we be without them? Some men may disagree, but I think we’re definitely not the stronger sex. “I Got It Easy,” another original, is basically a song where I count my blessings and is a reminder to me and everyone to appreciate all the good parts of life. I’m a very lucky guy and I never want to forget it.
As for the selection of standards, I wanted to cover songs from artists that I’ve loved and who have inspired me over the years…The Bee Gees “To Love Somebody”, “Who’s Lovin’ You” by the Jackson Five and the title song, “To Be Loved” originally recorded by Jackie Wilson have all been huge favorites of mine and it’s exciting to think that I can remind people how timeless these songs and introduce them to new generations. I’ve talked about my worship for Elvis Presley over the years and gave “Have I Told You Lately” extra love.
I’ve been a big fan of Reese Witherspoon for a long time and thought her performance as June Carter Cash was incredible. I was thrilled beyond belief when she agreed to sing the Nancy and Frank Sinatra classic “Something Stupid” with me. She was a dream to work with and we’re both so happy with the way the song came out. I hope she’ll sing it with me on stage one day. I recorded the great Randy Newman song from “Toy Story - “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” because I often feel like I’m still ten years old and I love the sentiment of that song. Who can’t relate to that message? Doesn’t matter what your age is.
I think the song “Nevertheless” is one of the most beautiful ones on this record.. I was helped immensely by the great Puppini Sisters. Be warned their harmonies on this can make a person swoon - be warned. “Come Dance With Me” – well I went totally wild with this song. I can’t wait to sing this one live with my band behind me. I think it will be a show stopper. I know my fans will be dancing in the aisles to this one. You cannot sit still when you hear it. And that’s exactly what I wanted to do with this one.
My album opens with “You Make Me Feel So Young” and closes with the classic “Young At Heart”. The sentiment and message of both songs are quite similar. “You Make Me Feel So Young” is surely one of the happiest songs I’ve ever recorded.. We took the arrangement and really made it swing. It’s pure joy. I’ve sung the song for years but it’s taken on new meaning for me now as I’m about to become a parent for the first time. “Young At Heart” is my love letter to Mr. Sinatra and his early years on Columbia Records. I tried to honor him with this version and for those who still like to listen to an album from beginning to end, I’m glad it’s the message I leave people with when the music ends. It’s all about hope. “Life gets more exciting with each passing day… Love is either in your heart or on its way.” That’s what I call a perfect philosophy to have about life.
And for the people who buy my record at Target, there are some special treats including the Phil Spector classic “Be My Baby” with that great “wall of sound”. There’s also an ultra-romantic version of a long time favorite of mine and my grandpa’s, “Melancholy Baby.” When I was very young, I put that song on a tape and played it over and over and over. I practically feel like I wrote it. You can’t get more romantic than that song. The Target exclusive also has a fresh and reinvented version of the “Beautiful Day” single.
None of these songs would be what they were without the help of my partner in crime, the great Bob Rock who helped me realize all my dreams with the songs on “To Be Loved”. He is a producer extraordinaire and was there 1000 percent every day we were recording. Special thanks go to the vocal talents of Naturally 7, The Puppini Sisters and The Dap Kings for perfecting the sound I was trying to create.
I don’t know if people even read these things so if you’ve gotten this far, thank you for taking the time. I know I sing better than I write but I wanted you to understand a little bit about what I wanted to accomplish with “To Be Loved”. I hope you love my record. See you on the road.” Love, Michael