Gosh -- I Like Josh
Kamloops This Week
January 17, 2007
By Dale Bass
It's happened. I'm a Grobanite.

And it's not because he's so darn cute -- although that mass of curls is truly adorable.

Nope, it's because, at the tender age of 25, Josh Groban is the real deal. A guy who can sing in any language and it doesn't matter. His voice transcends the words. It's pure, unstrained, melodic without having any Muzak tendencies.

He could sing the alphabet and it would sound amazing, I'm sure.

Groban's recent release, Awake, is just his third recording in his five-year career. And it comes with some heavy talent helping out: Dave Matthews, Glen Ballard (a Grammy award-winning producer), Imogen Heap (formerly of Frou Frou), David Foster, Herbie Hancock and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

The music is as eclectic as the musicians creating it, with everything from the almost operatic L'Ultima Notte to the much more funky Machine.

The two tracks with the a capella Ladysmith Black Mambazo -- who make Groban's list of favourite singers -- are unique. While Lullaby is, well, soft and tripping, Weeping has more of an edge to it.

He's come a long way from singing for the world at the closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics, when he performed The Prayer with Charlotte Church. That one moment did not become his defining moment in the spotlight. Groban is still discovering the potential of his voice, his style, his presence and his ability to cross musical boundaries.

Awake is his best work so far. But, at 25, he's got quite a lot of potential yet to achieve.