Micheal Bublé’s top 11-city Canadian tour kicks off at home

The Burnaby crooner is back with his 9th top 10 album and tour of 11 Canadian cities.

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Michael Buble Higher Tour

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When: Oct. 1, 6:30 p.m.

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Where: Rogers Arena

Tickets/info: livenation.com

Released on March 25, Higher is singer Michael Bublé’s 11th studio album.

In what now seems normal for the homegrown star, the 13-track record topped the global charts. It is his fifth release to reach No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart, his ninth to take No. 2 on Australia’s ARIA Top Album Chart, and so on. Back home, where rock and pop stars regularly fail to receive the kind of love that comes from abroad, the record reached number three on the Canadian Billboard charts. People love this guy.

And why not?

In a world where tragic consequences for a career are just an inopportune TikTok away, the ever-fresh-faced 47-year-old crooner appears in Teflon.

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Tackling the kind of tough battles such as eldest son Noah’s liver cancer diagnosis in 2016 with maturity and composure, he and his Argentinian wife Luisana Lipilato were candid and realistic about the situation. They don’t pass for invisible celebrities. They seem like a pretty ordinary family, although they have a pretty amazing house.

Whether it’s stopping a gig in the UK to seek help from an audience member in medical distress or telling some risque jokes that probably still make his managers cringe, Bublé hasn’t little changed from his days of residence at Babalu in many ways. Yet another Italian-Canadian brother from Burnaby with a penchant for working with some of the biggest names in the big banking industry.

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In what has now become a formula for the artist, Higher directly mixes tried-and-true classics like Don’t Get Around Much Anymore by Bob Russell and Duke Ellington, and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square by Eric Maschwitz and Manning Sherwin. obvious duets like Crazy with Willie Nelson. These types of tracks generally cover “vintage” selections from any of his recordings, certain to be both familiar and appealing to his older fans.

Then there are the next level tracks, such as Paul McCartney’s My Valentine or Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love. Newer but proven hits, these titles are also ubiquitous in pop. To date, the Dylan side has been treated to versions from everyone from Adele and Pink to Kelly Clarkson and Garth Brooks. With strings to make Nelson Riddle nod to and a groove that would fit right in on a ’70s variety show, Bublé leans into the lyrics with his trademark verve.

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Where things get interesting is in his own songs. As Bublé’s career continues, there are more and more examples of original songs that rank among the singer’s best. His concert setlist just isn’t complete without 2005’s Home, 2007’s Lost or 2009’s Haven’t Met You Yet. And Higher has a quartet of originals who are likely to find their way into his shows now, too.

Of these, I’ll Never Love You is a surefire winner. With its plaintive plea “No matter what / I’ll never love you,” Bublé and Michael Pollack’s track was produced by Peterborough, Ont. ace Greg Wells. With a resume that boasts everyone from Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa to John Legend and Kid Cudi, he lends a contemporary pop sheen to the song that has crossover potential on a slew of radio formats. Wells’ hand is featured on all the originals and it’s a perfect fit.

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Baby I’ll Wait features a catchy modern doo-wop style chorus, while Higher is almost shocking in its pop/R&B presentation. It’s one of the first songs in Bublé’s catalog that presents intriguing possibilities for an extended remix. Those attending his upcoming tour can expect an interesting arrangement for the song in concert, as Bublé usually has both a killer band as well as a full string section and veteran vocal groups. At this point, Bublé could release a greatest hits package of his only co-written collaborations that would be huge.

One of the surprises that may appear on the show is the cover of Olivia Rodrigo’s driver’s license.

The singer’s recording of the worldwide hit with the BBC Concert Orchestra in the Radio 2 Piano Room is a perfect example of his ability to adapt a song that shouldn’t work for him to sound like his own. Rather than focusing on the teenage angst of the original, this take delves into the heartbroken melancholy of looking back at someone who lied about love in the past. His whispered delivery of the line, “Yeah, you said forever, now I’m driving down your street alone” packs all the poignancy of an adult reminiscing about painful memories of the past.

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It’s that kind of style that translates to huge success, and this star is always in top form.

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