November 20, 2003

Test Spin: Josh Groban

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Have you ever imagined Celine Dion as a dreamy 22-year-old low tenor/high baritone metrosexual male with wavy black hair who sings to you about love, sometimes in Italian, over a conspicuously sad violin and Spanish guitar? I know I have and my forearm is that much stronger for it. Now imagine how I feel having stumbled upon Josh Groban and his new album Closer. My hand is so sticky I don’t think I’ll ever be able to clean this shit off.

This is pseudo classical pop that overtly aims to be extremely passionate in the way it deals with clearly laid out, trite themes along the lines of realizing someone’s “unassuming grace” or the hurt felt when your lover leaves you for someone else. These are themes that tend to be among the tried and true ones about which most people can feel deeply. Despite the oversimplified and bland way they’re presented here, we can still twist our experiences to fit that mold if we get something out of it. Since these corny themes have some basis in reality you’ll be labeled a cynic if you discount it entirely. When done adequately, it tends to work, does what its expected to do, and some people like it.

For me, reviewing this album is boring as all hell, like masturbating for the fifth time in the same day. If I have something interesting to say I wouldn’t want to waste it on this review. Groban and his writers didn’t do a great job. Many times, for the sake of adding an extra verse, making some words rhyme, or giving the song some grand feeling they’ve gone overboard to the point of absurdity. Kind of like this review, except Josh Groban, or his production team, chose love instead of lewd sarcasm. Dangerous territory.

Archived article by Deepal Chadha