Either you like Josh Groban, or you don’t. (I do.) But writing a review of his new album is a no-win situation. Any criticism of his work will instantly earn you the loathing of his loyal fans. And overlooking any aspects of his new album that should be critiqued renders a written review pointless. Therefore, if you love, love, love Josh Groban stop reading now. Just know that his new album, All That Echoes, is available now and it holds up to all the previous work he has done. You will love, love, love this one too. Enjoy.
As for anyone else, I’d suggest maybe skipping most of this album and, instead, waiting for his inevitable “Greatest Hits” album to come out. Chances are he will have many volumes of those “Greatest Hits” albums when the time finally comes. Surely those albums will include some of the better tracks on this one (most of which is, as Shakespeare wrote, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”). And if it doesn’t, well, you won’t know the difference, for Josh Groban doesn’t exactly explore new musical territory from release to release these days. He is the master of soft pop (or popera), with impeccable tone and gorgeous vocals. He is one-of-a-kind when it comes to God-given talent… the male version of Celine Dion, circa 1996. Unfortunately, his huge success seems to have painted him into a Celine Dion artistic corner; he is able to make fewer and fewer surprising musical choices as the years go by.
What’s a divo to do? For any singer as highly accomplished as Josh Groban, the plan seems to be “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s an understandable position, but it can be frustrating for those fans who wonder what else Groban can do besides convince the masses who were Oprah’s target TV audience to actually buy a CD. But Josh Groban deserves a little healthy criticism — he’s just that good.
Still, the songs he offers here are beautifully phrased, heartfelt, and with production values that are polished within an inch of their life, which leaves them sort of lifeless (especially the droopy “Falling Slowly”).
Essential Downloads: “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress,” “I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever).”
To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.