B. Walker | Wisconsin, United States | 12/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Josh has a different voice here, literally, from Josh Groban: Closer and Awake. Either he had his vibrato under control better or it was engineered out; it was my one, extremely small quibble about this CD. I like the way he sounds live, vibrato or not, and I didn't think he needed to have his amazing voice fiddled with.
Some of the songs here didn't appeal to me at first, a couple still don't now, but for a debut CD, it's exceptional how many of the songs are just really good. There's an intriguing mixture of languages and tones, not that it's any great surprise, since producer David Foster is a palpable voice here too.
What do I consider Josh's classics to be on this CD? Of course, the sweet and heartstring-puller "You're Still You," that originated on an Ally McBeal episode tops my list. "Gira Con Me Questa Notte" shows much of Josh's vocal range, and I admit, even loving Sara Brightman, I like this version better; "Let Me Fall," from Cirque de Soleil is one of the slowest songs and is tailor-made for use with Cirque. "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" is deliciously anthemic and features the talented Lily Haydn on violin and Josh duets again, this time with Charlotte Church on the romantic, "The Prayer." If I had to pick my all-time favorite song off this CD, it would easily be the beautiful, "Home to Stay." No matter how many times I play it, it still gives me goosebumps.
If I had to name one of my less-favored songs, I think the top one would be his cover of "Vincent (Starry Starry Night);" it doesn't exactly feel like it fits in with the other songs, and I admit, it was never one of my favorites no matter who sang it.
This is definitely a five star CD. He's been compared to Il Divo and the Three Tenors, but I don't think it's very apt. Josh has a softer, more radio-ready approach than those two, besides the mechanics of being a bass baritone.
If you're looking for something else to try, I recommend Interlude or Music from a Farther Room by Lucia Micarelli, the wonderful violinist that toured with Josh during his last two tours, or Best of Chris Botti Artist Transcriptions Trumpet by Chris Botti, who performs "Broken Vow," during Josh's concerts when he's available."