Weeping -- w/ Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Vusi Mahlasela
Machine -- w/ Herbie Hancock
The Josh Groban phenomenon continues with Awake, his third studio album. Both of the extraordinary singer's first two studio discs have been certified five times platinum, with his most recent, 2003's Closer, charting #1 p... more »op. His uplifting music rises ever higher on Awake. More Josh Groban
The Josh Groban phenomenon continues with Awake, his third studio album. Both of the extraordinary singer's first two studio discs have been certified five times platinum, with his most recent, 2003's Closer, charting #1 pop. His uplifting music rises ever higher on Awake. More Josh Groban
Brianne B. from LINDALE, TX Reviewed on 1/9/2010...
Awesome CD-love his voice. I won't be reposting this one.
L M. (lmcc) from EULESS, TX Reviewed on 4/2/2007...
Love this one, especially first two tracks...DH loves it, too, which is surprising, as it's not his favorite genre, per se...
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Josh in a new direction
B. Walker | Wisconsin, United States | 11/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge fan of Josh's first two CDs and I expected to love Awake too; playing it quite a few times puts it close to love, but more like appreciation for the things he's experimenting with and some of his collaborations.
In my opinion, without (for the most part) the guiding hand of David Foster, Josh seems more experimental here. He's kept the orchestra on most songs, but the piano-driven melodies of Closer aren't as prominent here. Josh also has more songwriting credits than before.
Of the 13 songs, 8 are in English this time, and those 8 seem to me to be more "radio friendly" than some of his past work, "You're Still You" excepted. Of those 8, the collaboration with Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik ("February Song") is by far the most likely to be a radio hit. The omission of the title track is ridiculous; I would have given up two of the other songs to make room for it.
For me, the weakest part of this CD is the selection of a couple of songs that seem totally out of place here, even if this is a "new" Josh. "Lullaby" with Ladysmith and Black Mambazo and "Weeping" with Ladysmith, Black Mambazo and Vusi Mahlasela are awful. They both seem like fragments of a song and I still can't figure out how they fit into the theme of this CD. The one excellent collaboration is "Machine" with the fabulous Herbie Hancock.
I wish I could say that every song moved me, but that's not the case. I've grown to like "Mai," "You Are Loved," "February Song,""Ungiorno Per Noi," and the fun "Machine." The other songs leave me with the feeling that something's missing. They don't seem passionate, they don't really have a hook and they don't feel like any of the songs on Closer or his self-titled CD.
There's no denying that Josh has a remarkable voice (I would let him sing the alphabet and love it), but I'm not sure I like some of the production and arrangements. Maybe I just miss David Foster's constant presence. I'm still a huge fan and I'll absolutely pick up his next CD. I think Josh himself said it well when he said something to the effect of hoping that no matter what the song, when someone hears it, they don't think, well, that's an interesting song. They just say hey, that's Josh.
I'm hoping next time around, there is more of Josh and the oddly uneven song choice isn't repeated."
Christmas came early this year
Amanda Richards | Georgetown, Guyana | 11/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The twenty-five year old phenomenon with the swoon-inducing baritone returns with his third studio album just in time for Christmas, and I'm guessing that many of his fans are going to give themselves a pre-season treat.
Groban expands his horizons on this album, writing and producing some of the tracks, and mixing it up with international artistes like Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Herbie Hancock, not forgetting Dave Matthews, Five for Fighting and of course David Foster. Following his earlier formula, there are tracks in English, Italian and Spanish, and although the lyrics may be in another language, this doesn't detract from the simple and timeless beauty of the music.
First single "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" is one of the most inspiring tracks, with lyrics like "Don't give up / It's just the weight of the world / When you're heart's heavy / I...I will lift it for you", but the crème de la crème as far as I'm concerned is the amazing "February Song" where he accompanies himself on the piano.
Another track to note is "So She Dances" and then there's "In Her Eyes", but one that'll stop you in your tracks is "Lullaby", written by Groban and Dave Matthews, and sung a cappella with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. If you liked Paul Simon's "Graceland", you'll love "Weeping", also with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and what better way to close an album than a collaboration with Herbie Hancock.
Third time's another charmer for Josh Groban.
Amanda Richards, November 7, 2006 "
Liking it more with every listen
Ronald Epstein | NJ | 12/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A girl that I had dated two years ago turned me onto Josh Groban. Imagine me, a pretty masculine guy, turned on to someone like Josh Groban. It wasn't long before I went to see him in concert and meet him personally backstage. In person he is extremely shy, but none of that shyness translates into his music.
Owning his first three CDs (that include his LIVE concert), I was a bit taken back by AWAKE. As is mentioned in a previous review here, AWAKE is a departure from what you might expect from Mr. Groban. Upon my first listening I was not overly impressed. The album didn't seem to grab me in the same manner that CLOSER did.
Having now listened to AWAKE countless times over the past two weeks I must confess that I have come to really enjoy the material here. The music seems to be a bit more styled towards "pop radio," and there is some interesting collaboration on the three final tracks with artists Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Herbie Hancock which is good but quite frankly, I could have done without. Josh does just fine on his own.
For me, the absolute best song on this album is Track #4, FEBRUARY SONG. You gotta love the way this song climbs into a frenzied cresecendo that is just magnificent.
I would have easily given this album 5 stars if not for the fact that despite its greatness, it still lacks behind CLOSER.
This album will not disappoint Josh Groban fans everywhere!"
M. Pau | 04/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a huge fan of Josh Groban's and listening to both of his previous CDs have moved me to tears on more than one occasion but after listening to Awake over and over again, I have to say that I'm disappointed. I can't seem to find the same Josh in this CD, I know that he's trying to modernize his music but this "new style" of music doesn't really suit him, I particularly dislike his singing falsetto, he has such a powerful voice with an incredible range, he should use it. Of all of songs, I like the February Song and as much as I love the Romeo and Juliet song, I feel that his passion is somewhat lacking. This is definitely not his best work and I'm looking forward to his next CD."
Great album but get the Awake album w/ the bonus tracks inst
David Ko | San Diego, CA United States | 11/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I rate this 4 stars because and only because it is missing the two bonus tracks. You HAVE to get the one w/ the bonus tracks. That album would be a 5. The two bonus tracks, which are not on this album, are the title track "Awake" and "Verita", probably the two best songs on the album. So if you are going to get the album, be sure to get the one w/ the bonus track and DVD. Otherwise, vintage Josh Groban. Still a good album. Would be great album w/ the bonus tracks."