no clue where to put this guy, but he does have classical leanings, so why not
Rick Rubin produced

Grade - 1.3

released Nov 16th, 2010

from the album - Higher Window - grade 2.0

from all music


Pop and classical singer Josh Groban made his debut in the seventh grade, but then put music aside for a few years until he enrolled at the Interlochen Arts Program. In late 1998, he hooked up with a friend of his vocal coach, producer/writer/arranger David Foster. Groban worked for Foster as a rehearsal singer on a series of high-profile events, including the California gubernatorial inauguration of Grey Davis and the Grammy Awards (at which he rehearsed Foster's "The Prayer" with Celine Dion in place of Andrea Bocelli). He was accepted into the theater department of Carnegie Mellon University, but put his education on hold when he was offered a recording contract at Warner Bros. through Foster's 143 imprint. He made his recording debut singing "For Always" with Lara Fabian on the soundtrack to A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, and appeared in the 2001 season finale of the television series Ally McBeal. His debut album, Josh Groban, was released in November 2001. Over the next year, Groban became a star. His album went double platinum, and he had his own PBS special in November 2002. A month later, he performed "To Where You Are" and "The Prayer" at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, and joined the Corrs, Ronan Keating, Sting, Lionel Richie, and others for a holiday performance at the Vatican in Rome. In November 2003, Groban issued his second album, Closer. Two months later, he earned his first number one record when Closer skyrocketed from number 11 to the top spot on the Billboard album charts. In 2006, Groban released his third studio album, Awake, featuring guest appearances by the vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. The holiday-themed Noel appeared in 2007, with Awake Live following in 2008. In 2010, Groban paired with famed producer Rick Rubin for his fifth studio album, the Americana-informed Illuminations.

Album Review

Stars hire Rick Rubin for one thing: to achieve a purity of essence. When it comes to singers like Johnny Cash or songwriters like Neil Diamond -- even rock bands like Weezer -- Rubinís approach feels natural, as he strips away the varnish thatís clouded over the years, but Josh Groban is an odd choice for the Rubin maneuver. Not a singer/songwriter in the classic sense but rather a classical singer who dabbles in pop, Groban doesnít need to be stripped to his essence because bombast is a crucial part of the equation. Smart guy that he is, Rubin doesnít eliminate surging melodrama from Grobanís bag of tricks but he does limit and mute the palette, making sure the strings donít soar so high and that the singer doesnít bellow. These subtle adjustments, which include hiring Semisonicís Dan Wilson as a co-writing partner for Groban, wind up having a drastic effect on the flavor of Illuminations, turning it into something warm, burnished, and intimate, a spell only briefly broken by the cacophonic clatter of the Portuguese ďVocÍ Existe em Mim.Ē Its presence is a testament to Grobanís curiosity but Illuminations is best when he plays close to the vest, which means this is another instance where Rubin succeeds by illuminating his subjectís essence.

Track Listing

1 The Wandering Kind (Prelude) Groban 2:38
2 Bells of New York City Groban, Wilson 3:49
3 Galileo (Someone Like You) Cotter, ORourke 3:22
4 L' Ora DellíAddio Afanasieff, Groban, Marinangeli 3:27
5 Hidden Away Groban, Wilson 3:56
6 Au Jardin Des Sans-Pourquoi Groban, McGarrigle, Wainwright 3:32
7 Higher Window Groban, Salter, Wilson 4:37
8 If I Walk Away Groban, Wilson 3:52
9 Love Only Knows Groban, Wilson 4:43
10 VocÍ Existe Em Mim Brown, Groban, Mendes 5:06
11 War At Home Groban, Wilson 4:44
12 London Hymn De Vries, Groban 1:56
13 Straight To You Cave 4:10