x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Closer, Josh Groban

You have to wonder why Joshua Bell, the Grammy- winning violinist, would bother doing a duet with him for this album.


Josh Groban, the American singer-songwriter, is a fountain of gushing sounds, so soothing they could heal the most achey-breaky heart. His album Closer is all strings, orchestra and mood enhancing piano. He sings in English, French and Italian. And while I can't criticise the Italian lyrics (luckily I don't speak the language), his English ballads are so banal that when he gushes "you say those words, my heart stops beating", you really do wish it would. When he sings in French, he is cliched enough to add in a little Parisian-style accordion. Couple this with a generous spattering of the phrase "mon amour" and you have the formula for Josh Groban the francophone. The overwhelming impression of Groban is that he may be diverse, but the main reason for this is that he is a man with no style of his own. Granted, he has a strong enough voice, but he does not seem to want to use it for anything more than singing cheesy Disney-style love songs. Perhaps, he should just be demoted to the realm of singing opera accompaniment in duets with finished pop-stars. You have to wonder why Joshua Bell, the Grammy- winning violinist, would bother doing a duet with him for this album.