Two years after his self-titled debut album, Josh Groban is still stopping people dead in their tracks. With a liege of fans called Grobanites that includes everyone from Oprah to soccer moms, vocal enthusiasts to teenagers. Thousands of people have been hypnotized by “Popera Boy.” At 24 he possesses pipes beyond his years and is able to tackle complex operatic ballads and pop-style songs that have put him in the crossover genre of music.
With the release of “Closer,” he stretches his own creativity and other talents, such as piano and drums. The title is fitting since this album draws fans deeper into his beautiful ability. Collaborating on several songs and penning one himself proves that he isn’t just a voice.
The triumphs of the album are “Mi Mancherai,” “Remember When it Rained,” “You Raise Me Up” and “Caruso.”
Joshua Bell, a remarkable violinist, is featured in “Mi Mancherai,” creating a breathtaking, Italian love song. The passion easily bridges the language gap. “Remember When it Rained” is Groban’s first personal composition to be recorded. It’s also the first song where he is featured on piano, including a stunning cadenza. His skill at composing is second only to his stunning voice.
And that voice! Technique classes stress breathing, tone and the use of the diaphragm. Groban sings directly from his heart in a voice that defies all explanation. Pictures of his mop of brown curls and logo tees are spaced between Italian, English, French and Spanish lyrics on the CD sleeve. With his youthful image and several sappy, hackneyed love songs, it is easy to pass him by. Grobanites all over the world are begging everyone to just pick up “Closer” and let his deep voice remedy all of today’s flashy pop and irate rock.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.