Michael Bublé had his biggest single ever in the US in 2010 with “Haven’t Met You Yet,” a song off of his 2009 release Crazy Love. It has become common practice for record labels to re-release successful albums to extend the shelf life, but Bublé’s record label decided to release a deluxe version of the CD even before “Haven’t Met You Yet,” became a hit. Along with that deluxe version, Reprise Records also released a standalone EP entitled Hollywood. How does it measure up to the original album?
The Studio Tracks
Hollywood consists of four new studio-recorded songs, including “Hollywood,” which has made appearances on the Pop, Adult Pop and Adult Contemporary charts. The song is a worthy follow-up to “Haven’t Met You Yet,” and features something becoming more common on a Bublé record: Michael with a writing credit. Considering that most of his original songs have his name on them, it is safe to say that you will see more of Michaels writing on future CDs.
While Hollywood carries on the upbeat pop vibe of “Haven’t Met You Yet," the highlight on the original tracks is “Best of Me.” Written and originally recorded by David Foster along with Olivia Newton-John in 1986, this version adds a melancholy slant missing from the original recording that allows Bublé to wring every emotion possible out of the song. In my opinion, this is a career highlight song that is receiving praise as a showstopper during his live shows.
The Live Tracks
Speaking of live, the remaining four tracks on the Hollywood EP all live up to his reputation as a dynamic showman. Based on its success, it was probably a given that “Haven’t Met You Yet” would show up in a live version, but a big surprise for me was how great “Heartache Tonight” sounds. There is grittiness in Michael’s delivery that I think may have been smoothed out in the studio version. “Me and Mrs. Jones" also sounds great live, especially with the audience participation on the chorus. The only misstep for me is “At This Moment,” which sounds a bit overworked, but that’s a minor complaint.
A Worthy Re-Release
Overall, the Hollywood EP and the Crazy Love deluxe edition that contain these tracks are a great addition to the original version of the CD. If you’re not a live recording fan, you can probably make do with the four studio tracks, but I think most Michael Bublé fans will want the whole deal.
Recommended tracks: “Best of Me,” “Hollywood,” “Heartache Tonight (Live)”
Released by Reprise Records in October 2010