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Josh Groban
"In Concert"

© 143/Reprise Records

April 12 - 18, 2020

Year of Release: 1987
Rating:
  • Un Amore Per Sempre
  • Alejate
  • The Prayer
  • For Always
  • Vincent (Starry Starry Night)
  • Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring
  • Broken Vow
  • O Holy Night

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    Josh Groban returns this week, with his In Concert CD/DVD release. Released in 2002, the concert was from a PBS special. Groban was just starting out; his first studio album Josh Groban was released in 2001. So, In Concert would be his first live album, and second album in his career. He was young, at 21 years old, and at such a young age, his voice is truly phenonenal. Just listening to his singing, it's operatic, it's tenor, it's baritone. Truly giving his fellow operatic singers a run for their money. His voice is strong, vibrant, and the songs on In Concert brings out the romance in all of us. (Most of the songs from this concert were from Groban's debut album.)

    There are a total of only 8 songs on the In Concert CD. "O Holy Night" (the Christmas classic) is a previously unavailable bonus track. Also to mention, David Foster helps out with Grobaqn in the PBS special, on "Broken Vow." Foster is a well-known composer and pianist. And watching the DVD performance of this song is very entertaining, as Foster was talking about Groban. Before their performance together on the DVD of "Broken Vow," Groban takes up on the piano, and shows the audience a quick-and-short look at a different side of him. He starts playing the intro to Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken" and stops, and yet, shows his singing voice in a total direction, as he begins to sing the Elton John classic, "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word." It is just amazing how where one artist is best known in a particular style of music, and they display a different side. It would have been a treat, to hear Groban perform the two songs to their completion.

    But back back to the great concert, and singing in a style we all know and love from Josh Groban. "Un Amore Per Sempre," "Alejate" are songs sung in a different language (Italian), as most opera singers perform. Exceptional in his own way, Groban entertains well. "The Prayer" joins singer Angie Stone, and is a beautiful duet. "For Always" joins the famous conductor, John Williams. This song was in the soundtrack of A.I. Don McLean's "Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)" is another beautiful rendition, and the acoustic guitar is another standout. "Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring" joins violinist/vocalist Lili Hayon with Groban, and again, it's another stimulating, and beautiful duet, of musicianship from Hayon and Groban's singing.

    The previously unavailable track by Josh Groban and David Foster's "Broken Vow" is next, as this track was not from the PBS performance. I watched the DVD first, and since I enjoyed Groban's little entertainment of Cat Stevens and Elton John, I was expecting to hear that on the CD. But, in all favor, Foster's piano playing and Groban's singing is a perfect combination on "Broken Vow." (I am not sure where the CD version of "Broken Vow" was recorded -- yet it was from a live performance, listening to it at the end.) The album ends with the Christmas classic, "O Holy Night" This studio Christmas version of Groban's reached #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary songs chart, at Christmas time, 2002. And speaking of Christmas, his Noel album was reviewed. A deluxe version of Noel was released, as it featured another holiday #1 song for Groban, and only found on the deluxe version - "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."

    The DVD PBS special can be viewed on YouTube: The Complete Concert; or view the complete concert, in 9 part-videos -- starting with Part 1. Also included on the DVD is Chris Groban's Backstage Footage. You can also view this on Youtube here. Here is another good review of this album concert: here. The DVD is exceptional. Groban's live performances showcases himself, as a very entertaining performer. His voice is fantastic. The band is equally exceptional. And with other talented musicians to join him (David Foster, John Williams, Angie Stone, Lili Hayon), just makes it even better. Other performers (not on the CD) were Andrea Corr, Lara Fabian. There are more songs on the DVD than the CD, like the ending song, "Let Me Fall." The stage has a staircase visual effect, as we watch Groban climb up the stairs during the song, and at the end, he reachest the top of the stairs, and "falls." An incredible stage presence. The Making Of The Special feature on the DVD explains the special effect, and behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, Josh's band, and his parents. And as he heard his different approach on stage, with his Cat Stevens/Elton John combo, the Making Special also includes Groban playing around, another side we of him we are not familiar with. The other footage is Chris Groban's Backstage Footage. (Chris Groban is Josh's younger brother.) Chris takes footage backstage with his camcorder. It mostly features Josh's fans moving/walking around, and footage of the auditorium floor. The Making Special is far better.

    The DVD is the highlight. Josh Groban proves he is a great performer in concert. The PBS performance has many great highlights. The other highlight is his Christmas verson of "O Holy Night." 15 songs on the DVD, plus the 2 extra footages. As great as the PBS event was, it would have been also great to include all the songs from the DVD on CD. But maybe this is better -- Watching the PBS event is what makes this CD/DVD package much more special. As mentioned, Josh Groban can put on a great performance. And watching the DVD is better, than listening. You can actually watch how it happened, rather than just imagine it, when just listening. He has mastered himself as one of the great singers, most preferably in the style of opera. A great voice, a great visual. Josh Groban's music is highly recommended.




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