CD REVIEW: JOSH GROBAN NoŽl (Reprise)
October 30, 2007
By John Terauds
You only have yourselves to blame for seeing Christmas CDs reviewed the day before Haloween,
because Josh Groban's latest is already skirting the top of the sales charts:
There are no surprises on this 13-track effort that ranges from a "Little Drummer Boy" (with a great turn on acoustic guitar by Andy McKee) to "O Come, All Ye Faithful" backed up by the titanic Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It all works, avoiding sloppy sentimentality. The orchestral arrangements are tasteful, building to predictably lush finishes. Groban is in excellent form, too. The producers introduce us to the French staple "Petit papa NoŽl" as well as the freshly contemporary "Thankful." "I'll be Home for Christmas" includes spoken wishes from U.S. service personnel overseas - something many Canadian families can relate to as well. Top track: The mock-medieval "What Child is This?" has infectious forward momentum.