From the Vault...


Josh Groban

© 143/Reprise Records

Year of Release: 2007

track listing
  • Silent Night
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas
  • Ave Maria
  • Angels We Have Heard
    On High
  • Thankful
  • The Christmas Song
  • What Child Is This
  • The First Noel
  • Petit Papa Noel
  • It Came Upon
    A Midnight Clear
  • Panis Angelicus
  • O Come All Ye Faithful

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    Josh Groban

    Towards the end of 2007, Josh Groban's Christmas CD, Noel hit the stores. His appearance on Oprah Winfrey's show sparked interest for fans to purchase his CD, and from it, it became his biggest album to reach the number one spot, for 5 weeks, breaking the record for the most weeks at number one for a Christmas Album. (Elvis Presley's Elvis' Christmas Album (4 weeks), and Kenny G's Miracles - The Christmas Album (3 weeks). Groban's first album, Closer, was his first #1 album for one week, in January, 2004.

    Noel captures some awesome familiar traditional Christmas tunes, with Groban's voice in full spirit. "Silent Night" brings a very fresh sound to this particular Christmas favorite classic. "Little Drummer Boy" is a bit more upbeat than other versions. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" starts with a different intro lyrically, but ventures in the familiar lyrics when referring to Elvis' version. Throughout the song, you hear Christmas messages from our troops overseas, a very touching mix for this song. (The other song that comes to mind regarding the troops is Lonestar's "I'm Already There (Message From Home)".

    "Ave Maria" is a beautiful version, almost just as great as Mario Lanza's version. (Sorry everyone, but Mario Lanza still and always will be the best male opera singer to me.) "Angels We Have Heard On High" is good also, yet I think a chorus of choir singers would have been a nice addition, although Brian McKnight does help vocally.

    "Thankful" is an original, but I can't help but hear the melody of the Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram song "Somewhere Out There" in some instances. It is another very beautiful ballad, but my "bad habit" is listening to songs, and hearing another. "The Christmas Song" is well-done, with the acoustic guitar providing the pleasant musical atmosphere with Groban's beautiful voice. "What Child Is This" is another good version, just a little more upbeat than other slower version I have heard.

    "The First Noel" -- Beautiful, just beautiful -- on Groban's part. Faith Hill duets with Groban on this song, but truthfully, I think Groban alone on this song would have been better. The original "Petit Papa Noel" is a good original, and other beautiful ballad is the classic "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear."

    "Panis Angelica" has the melody of another Christmas song; I just can't remember its title. The closing song is another beautiful ballad by Groban -- the classic "O Come All Ye Faithful."

    Josh Groban's Noel is a very well-done Christmas album. It's one of those albums you have to have playing in the background while you work. I'm curious if Groban will repeat his #1 album achievement with future releases, especially non-Christmas albums. Hopefully he won't need another celebrity's help to boost his future album(s) (or individual songs) to top the chart. Yet it would be nice to see Groban dominate the single hit charts, and overpower today's Rap stars, since they've been enforcing the #1 position for many years now.

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    Previous Review: #1080
    Rich Little--Unclear And President Danger
    Next Review: #1082
    Gene Autry--Sing Cowboy Sing