Review of Josh Groban
Barnes & Noble
By David Cohen
Following in the wake of the spectacular success of artists like Andrea Bocelli and Russell Watson, the ever-expanding genre of classical crossover music is set to embrace another rising star, Josh Groban. The 20-year-old baritone's debut CD, Josh Groban, artistically exceeds the industry's high expectations for this very young, remarkably self-possessed performer.
Discovered by producer-songwriter David Foster, the handsome L.A. native has selected an eclectic mélange of classical and contemporary tunes that present his warm and robust voice in a variety of complimentary settings. Whether singing in Italian (the gorgeous "Alla luce dal sole" and "Un amore per sempre") or English (Don McLean's moving "Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)" and Richard Marx's dramatic "To Where You Are,") Groban imbues every note with a shimmering romantic glow. Eschewing the obvious, the versatile vocalist features top-drawer material by Linda Thompson ("You're Still You,") Albert Hammond ("Alejate,") and Ennio Morricone ("Cinema Paradiso") as well as J. S. Bach's lovely "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." But the highlight is Carol Bayer Sager's "The Prayer," a made-in-heaven duet with fellow wunderkind Charlotte Church, a partnership with a combined age that barely totals 35.
Already touted by such celebrities as Sarah Brightman and Rosie O'Donnell, Josh Groban is a precocious and rare talent ready to explode.