Album review: Josh Groban, All That Echoes (Reprise)
The Groban Phenomenon seems unstoppable – All That Echoes crashed into the American charts at No 1, and will likely follow suit here too – though for all his personable self-deprecation, the blend of operatic pop on which his reputation is built seems strangely thin and insipid.
But there's a methodical ruthlessness about the formula, which involves taking songs seeking salvage from romantic disaster, cloaking them in strings, and enunciating with maximum sincerity and a mild degree of passion that never strays out of control. This is fine so long as it's Groban's own custom-built material like the vaguely uplifting "Brave" and "False Alarms", but less effective on the folk song "She Moved Through the Fair", which uilleann pipes can't free from the stiff suit Groban squeezes it into.
Download: Brave; False Alarms
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