You are hereJosh Groban CD - Noel
Josh Groban CD - Noel
American singer Josh Groban has been a household name since he burst onto the world music scene in 2003 with his stirring rendition of You Raise Me Up.
This song largely took the album Closer, Groban’s second album, to number one in America. Arranged & produced by the prolific David Foster, it catapulted Groban to world fame.
In 2007 Groban & Foster teamed up once again for the Christmas album Noel. Again, it was a smash hit; selling 3.6 million copies in its first year and over 5 million at last count.
Noel features some classic Christmas Carols as well as some evergreen standards and duets with a few big names. Overall, it’s a very well produced album, but whether you should buy it will depend on a number of factors:
Firstly, I guess it is stating the obvious to say you would have to like Josh Groban’s music to want this album. Some do, some don’t and if you don’t, then don’t buy it. If you are a fan of Josh Groban, then I think you will enjoy listening to this CD.
Foster has done a fine job with this one & there are plenty of interesting things to hear when you have the headphones on. It’s overall production quality is very high.
If you have no idea who Josh Groban is, then your opinion of this CD will depend on your age I think. I played the CD to my 14 year old daughter the day I got it. Now, you probably know what sort of music 14 year old girls like.
Her opinion? “It’s only good if you want to fall asleep.” In other words, it is a slow ‘ballad’ style CD & it will not feature on her iPod any time soon.
However, she did appreciate a couple of the songs and agreed the music was good. It’s just that an hour of orchestral ballads is too much for an intolerant teenager.
Moving on a few years, I did lend the CD to a few friends for a listen & mostly the comments were complimentary. In fact they were all complimentary of the CD in an overall sense, with just a negative comment or two on certain tracks. That is purely subjective and I have a few personal likes & dislikes as well, but overall I think this CD would suit someone who likes soothing music.
Finally, I think to purchase this CD, you would have to appreciate its very American style. By that I mean both the tracks and the content.
I’ll be home for Christmas is a classic but it is all about snow & mistletoe, which we are familiar with, but it is definitely set in the northern hemisphere. This track has also been overlain with voices of real US soldiers who are away from home on duty and sending messages to their family at home. Touching, but in a very American way.
Groban makes use of a few other people on the CD, all of whom add to the overall feel. Brian McKnight shares Angels We Have Heard on High while Faith Hill sings on Silent Night, not to mention the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the final track O Come All Ye Faithful.
In my opinion, the best track on the album is Little Drummer Boy. (Incidentally, my 14 year old daughter agrees with me!) What makes this track so good is the celtic theme Groban and Foster have woven through it. It’s the best version of Little Drummer Boy I’ve ever heard.
At the other end of the scale, Ave Maria is a bit of a dirge. This is the one I think which put my daughter to sleep. It’s not badly done; none of the tracks are, but it is so melancholy and full of expression, you would have to be in the right mood to listen to it I think. It is inspirational, but it is also the slowest of several slow songs on Noel.
In summary, this CD would be a good buy for someone who already likes Josh Groban. If they are a fan, I think this would be a much appreciated gift: it’s a ballad CD.
Finally, I should say I have no idea where Josh Groban stands with Christianity, but there is no indication he knows the Lord.
Plenty of people do Christmas albums – even gospel albums – without having a personal faith. I guess it is part of the showbiz Christmas experience which occasionally touches on Christianity even if it is mingled with the modern secular alternative.
Josh Groban’s Noel is available at Word Bookstore for $14.95.
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