4.4 64
by Josh Groban

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Drawing on the gifts of artists like Dave Matthews and Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik, and enlisting talents as disparate as Herbie Hancock and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Josh Groban reaches new heights


Drawing on the gifts of artists like Dave Matthews and Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik, and enlisting talents as disparate as Herbie Hancock and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Josh Groban reaches new heights with his third album, Awake. Groban's large cadre of fans have eagerly anticipated this follow-up to 2003's Closer, and Awake doesn't meddle with its predecessor's formula. Once again Groban is paired with hitmaking producer David Foster, and he assays a varied set of soaring, lyrical songs in number of languages, some written by Groban himself. The guest stars, while never overshadowing the young crooner, add both variety and the deft touch of experience -- on the pair of South Africa-inspired songs with Ladysmith Black Mambazo (one co-written by Matthews) and on the rhythmically incisive "Machine," with jazz great Hancock on keyboard. Groban tries his own hand at the piano on the expressive "February Song" (co-written by Ondrasik), while other instrumental flourishes, like the evocative Spanish guitar that opens "Un Día Llegará" and the cello solo on "Un Giorno Per Noi" (Nino Rota's Romeo and Juliet theme), provide colorful support for the singer's rich vocals. Groban is at his most inspirational in the single "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)," offering comforting words for troubled souls, while a separately available special edition of the album features a pair of extra tracks as well as a "making-of" video on a companion DVD.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
Longtime fans of Josh Groban should be pleased to know that the vocalist's third studio album, Awake, features more of the polished, well-crafted, and emotionally grand classical crossover pop he has become known for. In fact, the album is perhaps his most appealing and deviates little from his previous outings. Here listeners get a mix of original songs -- some co-written by Groban -- that trade between more classical/opera-oriented songs sung in Italian and more pop-oriented songs in English. Interestingly, the tracks co-penned by Groban are some of the most compelling, and showcase his knack for a kind of '60s Scott Walker baroque pop meets '80s Diane Warren adult contemporary vibe. This brings up the only problem with Awake, which is that as Groban's music has moved closer and closer to pop, the necessity of utilizing Italian becomes increasingly nebulous. Truthfully, barring any awkward translations, most of these songs would sound fine sung in English and generally come off as very good Italian pop songs. So, despite being quite listenable, from a mainstream pop point of view the use of Italian is great for lending the album a sheen of pan-European classical regality, but in some ways limits the emotional impact of the songs to only those who understand Italian. None of this really matters, though, to fans of Groban, who justifiably respond to his superb technique, silky tone, and bedroom eyes. It doesn't hurt either that he's brought along some unexpected guests this time around in the African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, appearing here on two tracks, as well as legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, who shows up on the angular and half-funky "Machine." It's also great to hear Groban dig into an adaptation of "Un Giorno Per Noi," Nino Rota's theme to Franco Zeffirelli's classic 1968 film Romeo and Juliet. The song, as Awake itself, is a grand collision of pop culture and co-opted classical themes from then and now, and perfectly embodies everything that has made Groban so successful.
Billboard - Chuck Taylor
On "Awake," Groban bounds forward via a handful of innovative collaborations.... "Awake" is a retail and artistic titan.
Los Angeles Daily News - Fred Shuster
Aficionados of classical-pop singer Groban's mellifluous voice will be impressed with his third album's skillfully made, richly varied set of new songs.

Product Details

Release Date:
Reprise / Wea


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Josh Groban   Primary Artist,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Tower of Power   Brass
Tom Scott   Horn
David Foster   Keyboards
Ian Thomas   Drums
Michael Thompson   Guitar
Glen Ballard   Keyboards
David Campbell   Conductor
Matt Chamberlain   Drums
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Marius de Vries   Piano,Keyboards
Nathan East   Bass,Bass Guitar
Anton Fig   Drums
Nick Lane   Horn
Robbie McIntosh   Guitar
Vincent Nguini   Guitar
Dean Parks   Guitar
Tim Pierce   Guitar
Frank Ricotti   Percussion,Vibes
Ramon Stagnaro   Guitar
Lee Thornburg   Horn
Greg Vail   Horn
Sean Hurley   Bass,Keyboards
Trevor Barry   Bass
Joel Shearer   Guitar
Michael Hart Thompson   Guitar
Eric Mouquet   Keyboards
Walter Afanasieff   Piano
Greg Adams   Horn
Vusi Mahlasela   Background Vocals
Bakithi Kumalo   Bass,Vocals
Chris Elliott   Dulcimer,Piano
Imogen Heap   Piano,Mbira
Anna Ross   Background Vocals
James Freebarin-Smith   Cello,Soloist
Fiona Hibbert   Harp
Blair Sinta   Percussion
Susie Suh   Background Vocals
Kaitlyn Barton   Tambourine
Tawgs Salter   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards
Jochem van der Saag   Synthesizer

Technical Credits

Nino Rota   Composer
David Foster   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Claudia Brant   Composer
Glen Ballard   Producer,Audio Production
John Brough   Engineer
David Campbell   Orchestral Arrangements
Scott Campbell   Engineer
Marius de Vries   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Orchestral Arrangements,Audio Production
Humberto Gatica   Producer,Engineer
Mark Hammond   Composer
Marco Marinangeli   Composer
Alejandro Rodriguez   Engineer
Guy Sigsworth   Vocal Producer
Simon Hale   String Arrangements
Eric Mouquet   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
William Ross   Arranger,String Conductor
Greg Adams   Horn Arrangements
John Ondrasik   Composer
Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff   Art Direction
Dave Bassett   Composer
David Channing   Engineer
Chris Elliott   Orchestral Arrangements
Imogen Heap   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Alexis Smith   Programming,Effects Programming
Andy Selby   Composer
Andrea Sandrei   Composer
Asher Lenz   Composer
Josh Groban   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Debbi Datz Pyle   String Contractor
Jeff Cohen   Composer
Ellen Wakayama   Art Direction
David Romano   Vocal Coach
Jason Boshoff   Programming
Adam Crossley   Composer
Thomas Salter   Composer
Gina Zimmitti   String Contractor
Tawgs Salter   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Gary Thomsa   Engineer
Matt Taylor   Art Direction
Larry Kusik   Composer
Jochem van der Saag   Programming,Engineer,Sound Design

Customer Reviews

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Awake 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have listened to the entire CD early and am in love with it. Every song on this CD is great and different. Machine is a song to dance to and So She Dances is hypnotic. I can't say enough great things about this CD. Josh, your experimenting has paid off!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is amazing. Well done Josh! Every song is fabulous!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Album is superb. Josh is a Genius. Every track is outstanding. Josh rocks!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love listening to this CD. This is by far Josh Groban's best CD. Way to go Josh!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have heard all the cuts on Awake... outstanding job Josh putting your stamp on all aspects of this album, composing, writing, producing and most of all singing. Your voice is even better than it was on Closer!
Guest More than 1 year ago
So Josh finally decided to go more pop than usual. I knew the CD was going to end up a lot more like pop ever since he released his single. I have been looking forward to him releasing a new CD. This is a huge let down for me, although the song from Romeo and Juliet is a beautiful one. Boo. I want the old Josh back!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Josh Groban is the best singer/musician of our age, bar none. But why doesn't he record two for people who love his music and speak Italian and one for people like me who love his music but speak and understand only English? I would love to enjoy the words to ALL the songs Josh records, but as it is I understand just half of them. I won't be buying Awake as Christmas gifts this year. I'd feel cheated, paying full price for a CD but "getting" only half the songs on one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am in love with this CD!! I can't stop listening to it. Good job Josh Groban!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best! It is a wondrous blend of new and familiar. I commend Josh for taking chances and for putting his own brand and personality into his music, rather than settling for the safe and easy path. Lullaby and Weeping are gifts. So She Dances is lovely. Machine is exciting. Congratulations on the best album this year!! Josh hit this one right outta the park!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful cd. Very relaxing! I have played it at naptime in my kindergarten class for the past 2 days. All my students are quiet and their teacher isn't stressed out anymore!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definitely Josh's best hits. His other CDS I could take or leave but this one is AWESOME. And the hit song You are Loved is... AMAZING! Good Luck Josh!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Josh Groban's new album, "Awake" is his best yet! His songs are more inspirational and original. He shows his true talents, espeically in the "February Song", "Awake", "lullaby", "weeping" and "Machine." If you liked his first two albums, you will LOVE this one! Highly recommended. And even if you do not understand the words to the Italian songs, the music alone is more than enough to get inspiration from. Amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a variety of music this new cd has. Josh sounds incredible. You won't be disappointed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is an awesome CD I would recommend anyone to listen to. It will leave you in a peaceful state and it will inspire you and lift you up! Everyone should buy it and listen to it! Trust me, I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have followed Josh Groban and have all his music, so I was excited to preorder his new CD, unfortunately, it was disappointing...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok, now that I ahve my fangirly scream out of my system, I must say this: Any, and repeat, ANY, Josh Groban CD is going to be awesome! I haven't bought the CD yet, but I sure will! YOU ROCK JOSH!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Josh's new cd is absolutely amazing!! He is one of the artists who is never afraid to push or break the boundaries. You can hear the dedication and practice he puts into his music through his vocals. I am not one to waste my money on cds, seeing as most of the time there are only 2-3 good songs on each one, but ALL of Josh's tracks are incredible. I recommend buying it as soon as you can, you WILL NOT be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
JG's voice is a weapon of mass seduction. Everytime he opens his mouth, a heavenly sound comes out. This new CD will not disappoint. I wasn't a Grobanite before this CD but AWAKE one has made me a convert. Josh is the best male singer of his generation. I loved the songs In Her Eyes, You are Loved, February Song, Awake (from the bonus DVD edition).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this albumn. It keeps some of the same elements of his previous albumns, but adds new ones. I think that the mix of english and the various other languages lends a distinctive touch to his music. Without the other languages it wouldn't be a Josh Groban albumn. Again another hit disc that takes you on a journey.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn't too sure what to expect from Josh's new cd after hearing little bits and pieces. But I have to say after hearing the whole thing, I believe it to be his best one yet! Keep up the great work Josh!
Guest More than 1 year ago
And with his latest, "Awake," Josh Groban has lost me as a fan. Following the hideous "Live at the Greek", Groban provides more croaking and even more mediocre songwriting (his). The duets are sad, with Groban attempting even more of a crossover to rock. His voice and his talents lie elsewhere. He's a stiff and more formal performer. His vocal range is not attuned to rock, nor is his personality. He just comes off as the odd duck trying to become a swan. I just wish he would have stayed in his own pond. He was marvelous in his first two CD's his first performance on PBS. I own all of those. Early great success, which I feel he worked hard for and definitely earned, has unfortunately gone to his head. And it's a waste of his vocal talents.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD triggered something in my heart and it wasn't an artery. I'm still alive (thank goodness). These songs are beautiful and the flow of the songs are slow and lovable. I had to look up the translated lyrics to english. I loved seeing how the music fit the lyrics and how Josh Groban's amazing voice flooded my soul. Everyone is listening to it (I love propaganda)! So jump on the bandwagon and listen to this CD!!!!! ***CAUTION: You might cry***
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the music. It has a certain feel and energy that is impossible to creat or mime by anybody but Josh Groban.