Monday, November 15, 2010

Album Review: Illuminations by Josh Groban

Well folks, this is my first ever album review. Of course it would be a Josh Groban album. :) We haven't had a new non-holiday cd from Josh since 2006. As a rabid fan, you can imagine how excited I was about Illuminations. Well, the day came......and I wasn't that impressed. I know, I know, this is JOSH freaking GROBAN, he can't do anything wrong. And I'm not saying he DID do something wrong. I'm just not feeling what I felt with Closer and Awake, which was absolute astonishment. There are some seriously great songs on this new album, but there are also a few that just had me thinking: "What the heck is this?" I'll give you a track-by-track rundown.

1. The Wandering Kind (Prelude): This is a pretty great intro. All piano and beautiful. Very John Tesh-ish. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.

2. Bells of New York City: I REALLY love this song. His voice is incredible in this song, though sadly he doesn't use any of his divine falsetto. It has a "old-fashioned" feel to it. The more I listen to it the more I think I could place it in my list of Groban Greats. 5 out of 5 stars.

3. Galileo (Someone Like You): I liked this more the second time I listened to it, but I still wasn't too impressed. Some good moments, but all around, a little boring. 3 out of 5 stars.

4. L'Ora Dell'Addio: Eh........not very impressed. Yet gets better the more I listen to it. 3 out of 5 stars.

5. Hidden Away: This was the first song released from the album. It's really good, fantastic lyrics. I actually feel like this song applies to me in many ways. I wish he was singing it TO ME. I'd tell him everything. 5 out of 5 stars.

6. Au jardin des sans-pourquoi: Yeah I had to switch screens like ten times to spell that. This song is OK. I like the melody, but the lyrics bug me.....and I don't even know what they mean. I think it's French. It surprises me that I don't like it because I usually love French. But I don't know....sounds weird. 3 out of 5 stars.

7. Higher Window: Best song on the CD. 'Nuff said. 6 out of 5 stars. :)

8. If I Walk Away: I really like this one. I could have loved it if it weren't for these weirdo background vocals. 4 out of 5 stars.

9. Love Only Knows: I liked this one a lot, but it didn't grab me. 4 out of 5 stars.

10. Voce Existe Em Mim: This is Josh's first attempt at Portuguese lyrics and boy.....I'm a fan. This is a close second after Higher Window. It's fun, and quite a different sound for something of Josh's. Love love it. 5 out of 5 stars.

11. War at Home: Good lyrics. That's about it for this song. 3 out of 5 stars.

12. London Hymn: I don't know what the heck this is. It's SO out of place on this CD. 2 out of 5 stars. (I feel like I've just committed blasphemy.....)

13. Straight to You: I really liked this song......but it just didn't have enough progression. It highlights the vibrato in his voice, which sometimes gets on my nerves......... 3.5 out of 5 stars.

14. Feels Like Home: This Randy Newman cover is such a classic. It's a good choice for Josh's voice. However, I was hoping for some major orchestration somewhere in the song...but it never came which left me a little bored. Therefore, 4 out of 5 stars. (PS- this song is only on the deluxe version of the album.)

And that's that. As a whole, it was a good album, with some great moments. Buy it, if only to support one of the greatest singers of all time.

Peace!

3 comments:

Lu said...

You will share said album, correct? so I can share in your disappointment?

And I am openly blasphemous -- I haven't been super impressed with any of Josh's songs for a long time. The Valentine's and Christmas albums fell flat and I usually LOVE Christmas music, no matter who sings it. So I am very interested to listen to this album because he is one talented man.

Leslee said...

Wow, I am blown away. More than one song deserved a 2 in my book!! But I notice you kept saying the more you listened to it the more you liked it. I'll wait for that. And I have to agree with Lu....wasn't blown away by the Christmas album. And I LOVE christmas music. Sad day. Here's crossing fingers that his next album blows me away....in a good way ;)

Douglas said...

I too am a big Josh Groban fan but I am deeply disappointed in this effort. The long three-year wait only compounds my dissatisfaction for what is his least enjoyable work thus far. I have listened to it repeatedly—at least five times—in an attempt to find some redeeming quality; however, my efforts have been futile. This is one CD I would like to return….