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. [WEA/Warner's 2007 edition included one bonus track.]
|Label:||Warner Bros Uk|
Performance CreditsJosh Groban Primary Artist,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Herbie Hancock Piano,fender rhodes
Michael Thompson Guitar
Glen Ballard Keyboards
Alexandra Brown Choir, Chorus
Angela Brown Choir, Chorus
Matt Chamberlain Drums
Vinnie Colaiuta Drums
Marius de Vries Piano,Keyboards
Joey Diggs Choir, Chorus
Anton Fig Drums
Roy Galloway Choir, Chorus
Mortonette Jenkins Choir, Chorus
Robbie McIntosh Guitar
Dean Parks Guitar
Tim Pierce Guitar
Frank Ricotti Percussion,Vibes
Ramon Stagnaro Guitar
Wil Wheaton Choir, Chorus
Sean Hurley Bass
Eric Rigler uillean pipes
Trevor Barry Bass
Joel Shearer Guitar
Eric Mouquet Keyboards
Adam Jackson Choir, Chorus
William Ross Conductor
Vusi Mahlasela Background Vocals
Bakithi Kumalo Bass,Vocals
Imogen Heap Piano,Mbira
Anna Ross Background Vocals
James Freebarin-Smith Cello,Soloist
Nita Whitaker Choir, Chorus
Fiona Hibbert Harp
Blair Sinta Percussion
Susie Suh Background Vocals
Kaitlyn Barton Tambourine
J'Anna Jacoby Violin
Jochem van der Saag Synthesizer
Tower Of Power Horns Brass
Ian Thomas Drums
Technical CreditsNino Rota Composer
Jeremy Lubbock Arranger
Tom Scott Contributor
Gary Thomas Engineer
Claudia Brant Composer
Glen Ballard Producer
John Brough Engineer
Scott Campbell Engineer
Marius de Vries Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Orchestration
Nathan East Contributor
Humberto Gatica Producer,Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Mark Hammond Composer
Nick Lane Contributor
Marco Marinangeli Composer
Dave Reitzas Engineer
Alejandro Rodriguez Engineer
Paul Schwartz drum programming
Guy Sigsworth Vocal Producer
Lee Thornburg Contributor
Greg Vail Contributor
Simon Hale String Arrangements
Eric Mouquet Arranger,Composer,Producer
William Ross Arranger,Orchestration,String Conductor
John Ondrasik Composer
Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff Art Direction
Dave Bassett Composer
David Channing Engineer
Rolf Lovland Composer
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
Jeff Cohen Composer
Ellen Wakayama Art Direction
David Romano Vocal Coach
Jason Boshoff Programming
Adam Crossley Composer
Thomas Salter Composer
Tawgs Salter Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Brendan Graham Composer
Matt Taylor Art Direction
Larry Kusik Composer
Jochem van der Saag Composer,Programming,Engineer,Sound Design
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have followed Josh Groban and have all his music, so I was excited to preorder his new CD, unfortunately, it was disappointing...
I am in love with this CD!! I can't stop listening to it. Good job Josh Groban!
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!
This is one of my all-time favorite CDs! Josh Groban is so great! I've only been to one of his concerts, but it was awesome. My favorite song on this CD is "February Song". Josh Groban has such a moving voice--it's no wonder he was able to replace Andrea Bocelli to sing The National Anthom at the Suber Bowl when he was only sixteen! I read that after he sang it, the entire arena was dead-quiet for a couple seconds, they were so shocked that a sixteen-year-old could sing *that* well. Then they clapped so much, the sound was deafening. Josh Groban has been an excellent singer since he was only sixteen!! and has only improved since then.
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!
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.
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!
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!!
This Album is superb. Josh is a Genius. Every track is outstanding. Josh rocks!
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!
All of Josh Groban's CDs are excellent, including this one. It has a bit of a different style to it but that makes the music even better. If you are a fan of Josh Groban. I highly recommend this CD. If you haven't heard Josh Groban's music before but like singers such as Five For Fighting, I highly recommend this CD to you also.
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.
An absolutely incredible voice this young man has...The pure richness, depth and expression he brings out in each song is breathtaking...Once again, Thank You for sharing with us!!
Awake is such a beautifully composed album. Josh has blown me away again! I love all the tracks on this album. His voice is just so powerful and touching. The song "Awake" makes me tear up inside.
This album is outstanding!!
So She Dances and You Are Loved(Don't Give Up) are amazing songs! Josh Groban is just... amazing.
What a variety of music this new cd has. Josh sounds incredible. You won't be disappointed!
I love the music. It has a certain feel and energy that is impossible to creat or mime by anybody but Josh Groban.
This album is amazing. Well done Josh! Every song is fabulous!!!!
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!!
This album was less than okay for me. The music did not appeal to me that much. In fact, I've played it only twice. The songs do not invite me to listen again, even though Josh's voice is always tremendous.
The review of this CD written by "Felicia, a music lover from Orlando" and titled "Groban Losing It!" is absolutely incorrect. This is Josh's best CD ever!The songs he wrote are beautiful and he is absolutely NOT going towards the rock genre of music. The songs are wonderful and his voice is magnificent. If you are deciding whether or not to buy this album, DO NOT listen to any reviews that say the CD is bad. Josh Groban is still just as good of a singer if not better than he was in his other CDs.
I was weary of this CD when it first came out and wasn't sure how it would fare against his other outstanding albums because I had heard this album would be a bit different. However, from the moment I first listened to this album I thought it was his best work to date. His vocals are incredible and the songs he chose on this album are extremely touching and well written. I cannot get enough of this album and cannot wait for a new one!!!