Album: Josh Groban, Illuminations (143 / Reprise)

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Multi-platinum-selling pop-opera sensation Groban doesn't get much of a fair hearing this side of the Atlantic.

Over there, he's a sort of straight Rufus for the mid-West massive. Here, if he's known at all, it's for a good-natured appearance on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Will the Rick Rubin-produced Illuminations change any of that? It's doubtful. The voice is just too grand and serious for "pop", and the operatics too Les Mis for purists. Even his "London Hymn" towards the end will not help him here.