Closer

Closer

4.5 129
by Josh Groban
     
 

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Josh Groban, the 22-year-old heartthrob singer whose self-titled debut lit up the classical crossover charts for months on end, invites listeners to get Closer on his sophomore studio release (he has also issued a live album tied to a PBS special). Joining again with producer DavidSee more details below

Overview

Josh Groban, the 22-year-old heartthrob singer whose self-titled debut lit up the classical crossover charts for months on end, invites listeners to get Closer on his sophomore studio release (he has also issued a live album tied to a PBS special). Joining again with producer David Foster, Groban delivers another set of heartwarming Europop songs -- including some co-written by the young crooner himself -- that holds true to the endearing formula that drew in his large cadre of fans. Lush, atmospheric production underscores Groban's soulful singing -- and no doubt about it: this boy can sing -- and fans with a hunger for his rich, expressive baritone putting over touching ballads will not be disappointed. Yet the album mixes in other elements, too. World-music touches (such as a Spanish guitar on "My Confession") lace several of the numbers with exotic colors, while Joshua Bell's sweet-toned violin adds lovely spins and swirls to the sentimental "Mi Mancherai (Il Postino)," and the innovative duo Deep Forest help Groban break away from romantic ballads on the rhythm-driven "Never Let Go." Groban's voice has also developed new power and range, as shown by his solid vocal prowess on such numbers as "Per Te" and the gospel choir–backed "You Raise Me Up" (though labeling his singing "operatic" remains wishful thinking). And while the album is less a valiant departure than a satisfying follow-up to the promise of his debut, to Groban's many fans, that's no concession at all.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Aaron Latham
In a short period of time, Josh Groban went from being a talented vocalist ready to enter college to the new prince of romantic music with a best-selling debut album and highly rated PBS special. The successful combination of his classical crossover croon, boyish good looks, and association with �berproducer David Foster helped Groban become a sensation. His sophomore studio disc, Closer, stays comfortably within the boundaries built by his debut collection as Foster once again helms a modest set of pseudo-classical pop songs dreamily sung in various languages. Listening to Groban, it is easy to understand why this MOR style suits him so well as his maturing voice is not grand enough to fully embrace operatic material yet remains too rich and technical for typical mainstream pop music. On Closer he works within his limitations and the result is a more consistent listen than the scattershot debut with his voice sounding comfortable performing these emotional European-inspired pop songs. The best tunes bookend the disc as the atmospheric opener, "Oceano," sets an ominous tone while the mysterious "Never Let Go" is a welcome collaboration with Deep Forest that allows Groban to successfully move away from the saccharine ballads and grow as a vocalist. However, there is still plenty of romance included for the PBS crowd as "When You Say You Love Me" painfully cries out like a rejected Celine Dion cut and the Celtic-infused bombast of "You Raise Me Up" plays like the sequel to his debut's most famous song, "To Where You Are." In addition to his improved vocals, Groban contributes three co-writing efforts that include "Never Let Go," and shows that there is a future for him to evenly match his skills as a vocalist and a songwriter. Although the disc still focuses on bland rose petal confessions, its highlights point in the right direction and bring Groban Closer to creating an album that eliminates the sick sweetness while remaining a tasty, satisfying treat.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/11/2003
Label:
Reprise / Wea
UPC:
0093624845027
catalogNumber:
48450
Rank:
5089

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Josh Groban   Primary Artist,Piano,Background Vocals
Dean Parks   Guitar
Ramon Stagnaro   Guitar
Rafael Padilla   Percussion
Joshua Bell   Violin
J'Anna Jacoby   Violin
Chris Boardman   Conductor
Jeremy Lubbock   Conductor
Jorge Calandrelli   Conductor
William Ross   Conductor
David Fall   Drums
Mark Hammond   Keyboards
Mark Portmann   Keyboards
Eric Mouquet   Keyboards
Walter Afanasieff   Keyboards
Marco Marinangeli   Background Vocals
Richard Page   Background Vocals
Andrea Sandrei   Background Vocals
Terry Bradford   Choir, Chorus
Alexandra Brown   Choir, Chorus
Angela Brown   Choir, Chorus
Joey Diggs   Choir, Chorus
Roy Galloway   Choir, Chorus
Mortonette Jenkins   Choir, Chorus
Wil Wheaton   Choir, Chorus
Adam Jackson   Choir, Chorus
Nita Whitaker   Choir, Chorus
Eric Rigler   uillean pipes
Debbie Gates   Choir, Chorus
Deep Forest   Group

Technical Credits

Jeremy Lubbock   Arranger,Orchestral Arrangements
Mark Hammond   Arranger,Producer
Mark Portmann   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Paul Schwartz   Arranger,Programming,Producer,drum programming,Orchestral Arrangements
Eric Mouquet   Arranger,Producer
Walter Afanasieff   Arranger,Programming,Producer
William Ross   Arranger,Producer,Orchestral Arrangements
Klaus Derendorf   Arranger,Producer
Malavasi   Producer
Felipe Elgueta   Engineer
Humberto Gatica   Engineer
Pierre Jacquot   Engineer
Dave Reitzas   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Alejandro Rodriguez   Engineer
Joe Wohlmuth   Engineer
Neil Devor   Engineer
Filippo Zecchini   Engineer
Chris Boardman   Orchestration,Orchestral Arrangements
Simon Hale   String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements,Direction
Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff   Art Direction
Mick Haggerty   Art Direction
Jorge Calandrelli   Orchestral Arrangements
Marco Marinangeli   Vocal Producer
Matthew Dellapolla   Scoring Consultant

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