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Josh Groban sings about romantic upheavals.

Byline: Rito P. Asilo

Josh Groban celebrates the Valentine season with the release of his radio-accessible sixth studio recording about romantic upheavals, "All That Echoes." The album is notable for garnishing its 12-track repertoire with pop's genre-redefining elements, without forgetting the 31-year-old crooner's conservative musical roots.

You only need to listen to the exciting melodic shifts of his self-penned dramatic opener, "Brave," or the lyrical flourishes of "False Alarms" that "youthen" Groban's crossover classical sound.

The latter's appealing fusion of musical elements exhilarates, but it's the lyrics' poetic whimsy that will hook music lovers in: "Have you raised the final anchor?/ Have you cut the mast-sail free?/ Sending offer to redemption/ Like a funeral at sea/ And I'm closing up my window/ Till I see a blue horizon/ And the quiet call of love will fly my way."

Lovely muse

Groban also impresses with his stirring rendition of the mystical Irish folk song, "She Moved Through The Fair," about a man and the lovely muse he yearns to marry-but, as he laments, "one has a sorrow that never was said!"

He also turns in a soulful rendering of Jimmy Webb's "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress," about the difficulty of loving someone who's fickle and indecisive.

For something more familiar, he revives Stevie Wonder's "I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)" with a soaring chorale backing him up. Glen Hansard's Oscar-winning tune, "Falling Slowly" (from "Once"), also benefits from the singer's innately lyrical chops.

Of course, Groban's booming dramatic baritone has always been a snug fit for "foreign" languages: He collaborates with trumpeteer Arturo Sandoval, on the Spanish ballad, "Un Alma Mas," and with Laura Pausini in the Italian ditty, "E Ti Promettero."

But, Josh is best heard alone, when he isn't compromised by his collaborators' contrasting styles-as he beautifully demonstrates in the soaring "Sincera."

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Article Type:Sound recording review
Date:Feb 8, 2013
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