On It's Time, young crooner Michael Buble delivers an album of love songs as powerful as chocolate and candlelight. From covers such as Ray Charles' "You Don't Know Me" to "Home," penned by Buble and Amy Foster-Gillies, the album is a romantic treat. Following the massive success of his previous self-titled album, Buble is set for even greater worldwide acclaim with It's Time.
Michael Buble's assured debut and the tireless year of globe-trotting touring he spent promoting it elevated the 20-something Vancouver native into the first rank of pop crooner revivalists. His sophomore studio follow-up largely turns on the same formula that helped make his considerable vocal prowess so attractive to mainstream audiences, mixing the nigh flawless, if expected Sinatra-channelling ("I've Got You Under My Skin") with more playful and inviting renditions of pop standards like the Gershwin's "A Foggy Day in London Town," "Feeling Good," "Try A Little Tenderness" and Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin." But it's the eclectic mix of more contemporary material the singer seasons them with--apt tribute to Buble hero Bobby Darin--that keeps him walking the narrow tightrope between artistic intrigue (a blues-tinged vamp of Holland-Dozier-Holland's "How Sweet It Is," Leon Russell's lovely "Song For You," with a guest turn by Chris Botti) and the kitsch-laden abyss ("Quando, Quando, Quando"'s Euro-centric duet with Nelly Furtado, a ring-a-ding-fling with the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" that echoes fellow Canadian crooner/rival Matt Dusk's more successful flirtation with Lennon-McCartney). Arranger/producer Tommy LiPuma offers Buble a welcome swinging jazz showcase on "The More I See of You," a bracing respite from the rest of producer David Foster's slick production. --Jerry McCulley