Review Summary: Brings an all new level of accessibility to classical music.
Masterfully taming the bombastic beast that is the grand and proud genre of orchestral music to a state in which it would easily appeal to the casual listener, Josh Groban has teamed up with pop punk/alt rock producer Rob Cavallo to deliver All That Echoes, his most contemporary-sounding batch of chamber pop songs to date. Initially studying to pursue a career in acting, Groban naturally has a love for the theatrics; a love that he enjoys representing through his music of choice: extravagant operatic bellows over classical music arrangements that most likely would have served as the soundtracks to the Broadway productions he’d be performing in, had he chosen to stay with acting.
Even though Groban is dealing in ostentatious instrumentation comprised of horns, strings, violins, harps, cellos, and more, he maintains order with a certain sense of control that prevents his very inspired brand of pop music from sounding over the top. All That Echoes has a finely-combed sophistication about it, and it’s this sophistication that never allows the spotlight to divert its focus from Groban’s beautifully talented croons. Groban’s voice is immediately drawing and immersive, his tone floods itself into listener’s ears and surrounds them in a way where he has your attention and you don’t want him to let go before he shows you the heights he can soar to.
Other than being helmed by the talent of one of the most natural and fulfilling voices in pop music, the mainstream appeal of the classical music elements of All That Echoes benefits immensely from Cavallo’s production. Cavallo converts the gargantuan atmosphere that comes from brass and string sections into an arena pop anthem style akin to Coldplay and Snow Patrol.
There’s really no other male singer-songwriter in adult contemporary that draws from the same well of influence as Groban, and All That Echoes is another strong offering in a consistently solid discography that showcases him presenting all of orchestral and classical music’s best characteristics, while moving him into a wider audience even more, and all without sacrificing his integrity or watering his influences down. Most pop music isn’t as uniquely inspired or as inspired in general as what’s found on All That Echoes, and Groban is basically the male equivalent to Tori Amos at this point in his career, as with this album, he has rewritten the book when it comes to chamber pop.
"There’s really no other male singer-songwriter in adult contemporary that draws from the same well
of influence as Groban, and All That Echoes is another strong offering in a consistently solid
discography that showcases him presenting all of orchestral and classical music’s best
characteristics, while moving him into a wider audience even more, and all without sacrificing his
integrity or watering his influences down."
-Run on sentence.
Woah, really good review!
EDIT: It's very concise, and flows well. I was about to pos, but I don't know where's the button...
@Paperback Yeah, when I was writing that I had a feeling it might have made this
read as if I consider this a 4.5 instead of a 4, but a 4 seems like a solid rating for a
solid album. It is a really well done album Hernan, I have a feeling you'd dig this
hard. It's not really baroque stylistically though. Also, thanks for the rec, I'll be sure
to check him out.
My bad actually, I was always under the impression that baroque pop music was defined as being really flamboyant and colorful festive music. This doesn't really have that personality at all, so I didn't even think to consider it that.
Actually that's right too. Baroque can really go either way. It can be really elegant sounding violin/cello/french horn combo (Scott Walker's "The Big Hurt"), or moody lounge kind of stuff ("Caroline, No" by The Beach Boys).
Yeah, there's a lot of pieces like that, but there's a variety of moods that can be found in classical music- from melancholic to
epically thunderous. "The Thieving Magpie" by Gioachino Rossini (famously used as the gang-fight song in A Clockwork
Orange), for example has so many dynamic changes in moods.