Born in the Wrong Decade

Sometimes an artist has great talent, but the time period in which they would most be appreciated has past. I’m not a classical music expert, but the next Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart might be out there writing great new symphonies, but he is 200 years too late to find any kind of mass audience. While singer Michael Buble isn’t that far removed from the swinging 60’s vibe he cultivates, his talents don’t receive the attention they deserve.

Buble has just released a new CD titled Call Me Irresponsible. The first single, Everything, has a cool pop vibe that seems to be getting a little bit of radio play and even VH-1 is showing the video. While I recommend his latest CD, Buble’s previous release, It’s Time, is the one you should pick up first if you are new to him. It is one of the best albums of this decade.

Buble is a standards singer from Canada, who despite his young age, has a tone and phrasing that is the best I’ve heard since Frank Sinatra. It’s Time has the kind of versatile swingin’ feel to it that Bobby Darin was doing back in the 60’s. The song Home from this album has become a staple on American Idol, as it has a romantic feel to it that only the best ballads of George Michael could match during the past 40 years.

Since he is a good-looking cat who sings standards, many have compared him to Harry Connick Jr. I think Buble is a much superior singer, as Connick Jr. often seems to be doing a kareoke version of the Chairman of the Board. If Michael Buble would have hit the scene during anytime between 1940-1964, I think he would have been one of the biggest selling artists of the period. Instead he is a moderate success, playing to very enthusiastic, if smaller audiences.

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Another person that I have long thought fits the "Born in the Wrong Decade" description is Chris Isaak. Isaak is the complete package as he possesses pin-up good looks, a great singing voice, good song-writing skills, and is charismatic as hell. His self-titled cable series that appeared on Showtime between 2001-2004 was a gem, as Isaak and his bandmates made this unlikely show one of the best things on television.

How most people know of Isaak’s music is because it has been used often in motion pictures. The reason for this is because his songs have such a visceral and dreamy quality to them. Outside of his hit, Wicked Game, that was greatly aided by Director Herb Ritts’ sensuous video of Isaak and Helena Christensen rolling around in the sand, most of his music gets little radio airplay.

Tell me one characteristic needed for stardom that Elvis Presley had that Chris Isaak doesn’t? Oh yeah, timing. Isaak’s great mix of rockabilly/cooner would have put him in the mix with such rock and roll legends like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, and Roy Orbison back in the 50’s, but during the time his career has spanned he has been largely overlooked. Isaak is one of the greatest live musical performers I’ve ever seen, so if you ever get a chance to see him, I highly recommend it.

We often hear about artists that were born before their time. I would like to hear from you about some artists that were born after their time.

3 thoughts on “Born in the Wrong Decade

  1. 3.  James Hunter
    blue-eyed soul impossible to date
    playing the Hollywood Bowl in Sept.
    fantastic web site with free music

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