Dear Josh Groban, I owe you an apology. I have known of your music for the past decade, but with your easy listening, soaring vocals, I have never given your music a chance. I figured if you could hit operatic notes, you were obviously talented, but maybe not my style. But your latest album, All That Echoes, has hit the top of the Billboard charts, and I can see why. I like you, Josh, and Iâ€™m sorry I didnâ€™t realize it sooner.
On paper, All That Echoes seems like it wouldnâ€™t work. Itâ€™s a combination of original songs and covers, modern and traditional, English language and other. However, it does hold together. It does so well. Grobanâ€™s voice and string accompaniment is just so damn charming that itâ€™s impossible to refuse the catchiness.
I did expect to have uplifting songs like lead single â€œBraveâ€ (â€œYou canâ€™t hide forever from the thunder/Look into the storm and feel the rainâ€) and more operatic offerings like â€œE Ti Promettero,â€ a duet featuring the lovely Laura Pausini. But this rises above the anticipated. Grobanâ€™s cover of â€œFalling Slowly,â€ made famous by the film and musical Once and The Swell Season, is string-heavy and delicate, stripped back to a solo performance from a duet. This leads into another Irish track, the traditional folk song, â€œShe Moved Through the Fair.â€ Itâ€™s a clever transition and one that made me pay attention.
As far as covers go, I was most struck by â€œHollow Talk,â€ with its lyrics like â€œSpatial movements and butterflies/Shadows scatter without a fight.â€ Clearly this is a man whoâ€™s not just out to affect the mom sorts. His covers of â€œThe Moon is a Harsh Mistressâ€ and â€œI Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)â€ are likewise individual and touching. Iâ€™m sorry I overlooked you before, Josh. You can sing to me any time youâ€™d like.