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Josh Groban Drawing us closer to the angels
By Liz S., Grade 12, Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB


by Josh Groban

143 Records/Reprise (2003)


Josh Groban's sophomore album "Closer" has captivated my soul even more than his self-titled debut.

Josh Groban has been called "The new boy wonder of the voice" by the New York Times and is currently touring all of North America. His first big break came when he was only nineteen at the 1999 Grammy Awards, when he had to fill in for Andrea Bocelli to perform a duet with CÚline Dion. His first CD, "Josh Groban", was sung mostly in English, with only six of the thirteen songs in Italian. His most recent album "Closer", features six songs in English, six in Italian and one in French. Most recently, you may have seen Josh singing before the SuperBowl . He sang "You raise me up" in memory of the NASA Columbia Space Crew.

Josh Groban could probably be called a contemporary/classical singer. His genre has actually been given it's own name, dubbing it "popera". His songs are all vocally challenging, delightfully exercising his wide vocal range. "Closer" was recorded in an L.A. Studio, which produced startlingly magical sounds. The quality of this album was nearly flawless - there were no resonating instruments after the sudden end of a song, or any other noticeable mistakes.

The instrumental aspect of this recording was magnificent. It takes several times through to realize how many instruments are really playing. Naturally, the first thing you notice is Josh's beautiful voice. However, it's very easy to overlook the louder instruments and not even hear the softer, subtler instruments. Particularly, in the song "Si volvieras a mi" featuring Joshua Bell on the violin, you may not notice the maracas shaking lightly in the background for the serenading violins and rhythmic drums. Although much of the lyrics are not sung in English, it is possible to make educated guesses. For example, the song "Mi Mancherai" is sung with such sadness, it is possible to make the assumption the song is about missing someone. I interpret the powerful "All'improvviso amore" as someone falling deeply in love, and rejoicing this new bond through song.

"Closer" has something to offer everyone. Hopeless romantics can listen to "When you say you love me" and fall in love all over again; spiritualists can listen to "You raise me up" and have their faith renewed; those who like a faster, mysterious song can listen to "All'imporvviso amore"; and those who are feeling down can listen to "Never let go" and feel their spirits lifted.

 (Photo obtained from Josh Grohan website: http://www.joshgroban.com/ )


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