Josh Groban, Closer
November 20, 2003
4 stars

His debut on the Grammy Awards in 1999, singing the duet Prayer with Celine Dion, made the world take notice of baritone singer Josh Groban. His newest disc, Closer, is now in store, and at 22, Groban is a true artist.

Although his voice was already mature on his first CD, Groban seems to have grown up with Closer, in a vocal and personal sense. While some songs are operatic, the majority have a crossover feel. One of the insightful songs is Mi Mancherai, from the movie Il Postino, which features a hauntingly romantic and solemn violin melody, which Groban infallibly captures. The other brilliant interpretation is Hymne a L'amour, the sole French song on this album, made famous by the legendary Edith Piaf. She would be proud to hear her composition sung with such emotive prowess.

The uplifting song You Raise Me Up, is laced with uilleann pipes at earnest moments, and a gospel choir at heightened choruses, which is a perfect match to Groban's versatility. With this CD, Groban proves he is a gifted musician and vocalist.