Does Josh Groban’s “All That Echoes” Illuminate?

I saw operatic singer/songwriter Josh Groban  in concert when he played in Moline, Illinois, in May 2011.  Now that he’s back with a brand new album, “All That Echoes”, I hope that when the concert dates to promote the album are announced, he plays here again!

Josh Groban Moline 5282011

Groban has sold more than 17 million albums in the United States since his debut just over a decade ago.  While he’s enjoyed much success with his first five albums, his biggest Hot 100 song, “The Prayer”, a duet with Celine Dion, only peaked at #70 in 2008.

However, the soon-to-be 32-year-old crooner (his birthday is two weeks from today, February 27th) has already had 16 Top 40 hits on the U.S. Adult Contemporary charts with 7 of those reaching the Top Ten, and five of them topping the charts:  “To Where You Are” (2002), “O Holy Night” (2002), “You Raise Me Up” (2004), “Believe” (2004), and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” (2007).

All_That_Echoes

When the new Billboard album chart was released this morning, as I expected,  “All That Echoes” became his third #1 album selling 145,000 copies in its first week.  All five of his previous albums debuted in the Top Ten with two of them topping the album chart.

His last album, “Illuminations”, released in 2010, was my sixth favorite album that year.  But, it’s also his only studio album that did not go double platinum (sales of two million or more).  Three of his previous albums sold more than five million copies each in the U.S.  Overall, Groban has sold more than 21 million albums in the U.S. alone.

“Brave”, the first release from “All That Echoes”, is already in the Top 20 on the adult contemporary radio airplay charts.  It’s a very solid song that showcases Groban’s amazing voice.

Recently, Josh performed many of the songs from the new album on the Home Shopping Network and I’ll feature the videos from that concert performance.  So, on some of them, you might have to skip ahead if you don’t want to listen to the banter with the show’s hosts.

Almost all music outlets are selling a 12-song collection, but I bought my CD from Target and it featured four exclusive bonus tracks.  With just the first few listens, my favorite of the exclusive tracks, by far, is “Changing Colours”.

While most of the songs are originals written and composed by Groban, there are a few remakes.  Also, there are two duets including one with Laura Pausini, an Italian singer.  I love Laura Pausini and since many in America still don’t know who she is, I’ll showcase one of my favorite songs of hers at the bottom of this review and blog.

One of the remakes that I absolutely love is “Falling Slowly”, an 2007 Oscar winner for “Best Original Song” from the movie, “Once”.

Another of the remakes that I adore is “I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)”.  This song was originally recorded by Stevie Wonder in 1972.  Since then, it has been recorded by Peter Frampton, Art Garfunkel, Mike+The Mechanics, Michael McDonald, and George Michael.

Since I mentioned that there are 16 songs on the expanded version that I bought, I can’t honestly say that I love all of the album on my first few listens.  Several of the songs will have to grow on me.

However, here are my other three favorites:

“The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” (I just love that song title!) is a song that has been recorded many times since 1974, but it has never charted as a single.  Some of the artists include Joe Cocker, Glen Campbell, Judy Collins, Linda Ronstadt, Joan Baez, and Michael Feinstein.

“Happy In my Heartache” is also a nice song.

And, my final favorite, after my first few listens, is “Below The Line, one of the few mid-tempo songs on “All That Echoes”.

Since the CD just came out last week, I can’t say how many of the songs will rank up there with such Groban classics as “You Raise Me Up”, “You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up), “February Song”, and many selections from his last album, “Illuminations”.

Illuminations

On that disc, I loved “Bells of New York City”, “Hidden Away”, “If I Walk Away”, “Love Only Knows”, and “Você Existe em Mim”.  And, even though it was a Christmas album, “Noel” was pure perfection!

Josh Groban sounds amazing on “All That Echoes”.  However, he’s set the bar so high with his previous releases, it’s going to take me a few more listens for a few of the songs that I liked on the album to become loved songs.

GRADE: B

Laura Pausini Bonus!

While she is a huge international star, her only dent on the American chart was “Surrender”, a #1 Billboard Dance Club hit from 2002, from her only English CD, “From The Inside”, which I love.

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