Josh Groban – All that Echoes
text: Gerianne Meijer
band: Josh Groban
album: All that Echoes
release: 4 March 2013
label: Reprise – Warner Music
Josh Groban is a multi-talented man: actor, philanthropist and joker. He is however first and foremost a vocalist. During his already long running career, he has released six studio albums and has sold millions of copies worldwide. His new release is called ‘All That Echoes’ and is available worldwide now.
While fleeting listeners of his music would argue, that his oeuvre mostly consists of sweeping love songs, fans know Groban always likes to try something different on his records as well.
That said, the collection of songs on most of his records are usually made up of the following categories: own songs, covers, different languages, something a little bit different and love songs. ‘All That Echoes’ is not much different in that respect as it contains songs of all these categories, and combinations of them.
Starting with the self-written songs opener “Brave” is an uplifting, midtempo song in the line of “You Are Loved”. With hopeful lyrics and harmonious music, it is a fitting choice for a first single. The background vocals add a little bit of an ethnic twist and help lead into the big last refrain.
“False Alarms” proves to be a little bit gloomier, painting pictures of uncertainty in love. The music is quite restrained, with the drums clearly providing the heartbeat. Peaceful instruments, like a beautiful harp and violin, support the melody. That creates a warm atmosphere which draws the listener in. Combine this with Josh’s honest, never-misses-a-beat-voice and you are left with quite a pretty song, that ends with a hopeful note.
Entering an uptempo world on “Below The Line”: the drums and piano make it hard to sit still. The refrain is one to sing along to wholeheartedly, but don’t be fooled: this isn’t just a happy go lucky song. Written to raise awareness for hunger in the world, it has a hidden, but powerful message. This makes it one of those songs people don’t usually associate with Groban, but is sure worth listening to.
“Happy in My Heartache” is the last self-written song in English on this album. With beautiful vocal lines and it is strangely uplifting, despite its subject. With Josh Groban singing maybe a bit softer than he is used to, it is easy to dream away and lose yourself in this song.
He has also co-written some foreign language songs. “Sincera” en “E Ti Prometteró” a duet with Laura Pausini, are both beautiful and grand. Listeners who prefer these songs will have no complaints. The one that sticks out however is “Un Alma Mas“. It is sexy and swaying with a sublime guitar and crooning vocals. The trumpet by Arturo Sandoval makes the song complete.
The covers are plentiful on this album. Ranging from Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe” to musical song “Falling Slowly” these songs show how much Groban loves music. He portrays each and every one of them with verve, but most of them may be a bit slow for the flow of the album.
One of the best is ‘Hollow Talk’ a song originally from The Choir of Young Believers. With a melancholic piano and deep, enchanting vocals it is brooding and beautiful. The lyrics and flow of the song are not clear cut. Also the dark undertone makes it unlike anything Josh has sung before.
The wide variety of songs, makes is appealing for everyone. Josh’s voice is strong as always, weaving a soothing magic throughout the whole album. While there are few songs that really stick out, as a whole it makes for a great listen. ‘All that Echoes’ may be a bit more restrained than earlier work. It contains a cover or two too many, but it is certainly an album worthy of adding to your (Josh Groban) collection.