Review: Groban’s ‘Echoes’ Crosses Over Successfully
The Salt Lake Tribune
January 30, 2013
By David Burger
Rick Rubin produced Josh Groban’s previous album, and he pushed Groban to develop his writing skills. The result was 11 songs co-written by Groban.
The 31-year-old classical-pop crossover singer again makes the decision to write — he co-wrote seven songs on his new album, “All That Echoes” — but he also includes well-chosen covers that provide an illuminating portrait of who he is at this point in his career as well as a glimpse at what seeing him live is like.
“Below the Line,” co-written by Groban, is a rousing anthem that was written after he was asked to subsist on $1.50 for one day — a task he fulfilled, living on a can of beans while living on the street.
Songs sung in Italian and Spanish provide the serious-musician cred, but he is most compelling when he sings “Falling Slowly” from the film and musical “Once,” the traditional Irish song “She Moved Through the Fair,” Jimmy Webb’s “The Moon’s Harsh Mistress” and Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever).”
Producer Rob Cavallo, famous for producing Green Day, never lets Groban’s sentimental side overwhelm the album. The results — despite “All That Echoes’” string-laden accompaniment — often lean more toward pop than classical.
This is a successful crossover effort that should earn respect from rock fans as well as your grandmother.