Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Bublé doesn’t fuck up the important stuff on It’s Time, the Canadian throwback crooner’s second studio album. He swings “A Foggy Day (in London Town)” so hard that you picture him twirling a black umbrella; he gives “You Don’t Know Me” the rumpled elegance George Clooney should bottle and sell at Barneys; he lets his voice crack under his breath in “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” To some extent, this material is idiot-proof; that’s why people have their wedding bands play it, and why happy-houring idiots sing it at karaoke bars.
What’s surprising about Time—whose point, from a record-biz p.o.v., is that it shouldn’t surprise—is how ably Bublé pulls off what in other hands would please neither Lincoln Center lefties nor Long Island prom queens. “Quando, Quando, Quando,” a duet with Nelly Furtado, oozes Actual Exotic Flavor; “Save the Last Dance for Me” boosts elements from Sex and the City‘s theme. Bublé even redeems the creamed corn known as “How Sweet It Is,” which here could convince a Starbucks exec he’s hearing ZZ Top’s “La Grange.” Compared to the similarly marketed Josh Groban, who complements opera with adult-contempo crap, Bublé’s as headstrong as the overgrown Rat Pack brats his stylists adore.
Michael Bublé plays the Beacon Theater July 8.