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4.4 out of 5 stars 623 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Josh Groban phenomenon continues with Awake, his third studio album. Both of the extraordinary singer's first two studio discs have been certified five times platinum, with his most recent, 2003's Closer, charting #1 pop. For Grobanites, his uplifting music rises ever higher on Awake. Awake's 13 new songs show off the Grammyr-nominated Groban's remendous growth as a vocalist, producer and songwriter. His hands-on approach in the creative process of Awake is reflected in several Groban-penned and -produced songs, along with musical contributions from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dave Matthews, Glen Ballard, Eric Mouquet, John Ondrasik Vandrasak (Five for Fighting), Marius DeVries, David Foster and Herbie Hancock.

Josh Groban is making it hard for anybody who can't say "classical crossover" without smirking to maintain an acceptable level of snobbery. Awake, his third studio disc and arguably his most personal--he co-wrote four tracks and favors his native English over Italian--boasts as many bold names as any tricked-out hip-hop disc: Dave Matthews, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Imogen Heap, and Herbie Hancock contribute in various capacities, and a slew of behind-the-scenes collaborators best known for their work in mainstream pop circles deepen the dimensions of a style widely considered claustrophobic. For all the studio doors that got opened to create Awake, though, Groban's signature sound never once slipped out to take the air; "the voice"--that hypnotic, spun-silk wonder of an instrument--is as concentrated as ever, and Awake, in addition to showing off its many splendors, serves as a vehicle for parading its versatility around. While "Un Giorno Per Noi," the deeply romantic theme to the 1968 film Romeo E Giulietta, delivers the Groban that fueled the sale of 16 million previous discs to soft-hearted fans, "Machine," with Hancock, gives up a new form of funk: dignified, classy, and surprisingly unstiff. --Tammy La Gorce
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 7, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / WEA
  • ASIN: B000I5X81K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (623 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,747 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The twenty-five year old phenomenon with the swoon-inducing baritone returns with his third studio album just in time for Christmas, and I'm guessing that many of his fans are going to give themselves a pre-season treat.

Groban expands his horizons on this album, writing and producing some of the tracks, and mixing it up with international artistes like Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Herbie Hancock, not forgetting Dave Matthews, Five for Fighting and of course David Foster. Following his earlier formula, there are tracks in English, Italian and Spanish, and although the lyrics may be in another language, this doesn't detract from the simple and timeless beauty of the music.

First single "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" is one of the most inspiring tracks, with lyrics like "Don't give up / It's just the weight of the world / When you're heart's heavy / I...I will lift it for you", but the crème de la crème as far as I'm concerned is the amazing "February Song" where he accompanies himself on the piano.

Another track to note is "So She Dances" and then there's "In Her Eyes", but one that'll stop you in your tracks is "Lullaby", written by Groban and Dave Matthews, and sung a cappella with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. If you liked Paul Simon's "Graceland", you'll love "Weeping", also with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and what better way to close an album than a collaboration with Herbie Hancock.

Third time's another charmer for Josh Groban.

Amanda Richards, November 7, 2006
9 Comments 99 of 105 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Josh's first two CDs and I expected to love Awake too; playing it quite a few times puts it close to love, but more like appreciation for the things he's experimenting with and some of his collaborations.

In my opinion, without (for the most part) the guiding hand of David Foster, Josh seems more experimental here. He's kept the orchestra on most songs, but the piano-driven melodies of Closer aren't as prominent here. Josh also has more songwriting credits than before.

Of the 13 songs, 8 are in English this time, and those 8 seem to me to be more "radio friendly" than some of his past work, "You're Still You" excepted. Of those 8, the collaboration with Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik ("February Song") is by far the most likely to be a radio hit. The omission of the title track is ridiculous; I would have given up two of the other songs to make room for it.

For me, the weakest part of this CD is the selection of a couple of songs that seem totally out of place here, even if this is a "new" Josh. "Lullaby" with Ladysmith and Black Mambazo and "Weeping" with Ladysmith, Black Mambazo and Vusi Mahlasela are awful. They both seem like fragments of a song and I still can't figure out how they fit into the theme of this CD. The one excellent collaboration is "Machine" with the fabulous Herbie Hancock.

I wish I could say that every song moved me, but that's not the case. I've grown to like "Mai," "You Are Loved," "February Song,""Ungiorno Per Noi," and the fun "Machine." The other songs leave me with the feeling that something's missing.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a Josh Groban fan for quite some time now. Ever since I

heard his rendition of "the prayer" he's been one of my favorite

musicians. I was somewhat let down by his recent albums with the

"pop" turn his music was going in like "Closer". Also the live

albums were great, but there was nothing new. This album goes back to

his roots from his self titled album "Josh Groban" released in 2001.

The first single "You are Loved" is probably as pop as the album

gets, and even that song is simply amazing with his falsetto. Songs

like "L'Ultima Notte" and "So She dances" mix his classical style

with the soft rock feel that classic Josh fans should love. Solo Por

Ti brings back the classic guitar heard in earlier songs like

"alejate" and "vincent". the acapella track "Lullabye" is a real

change for Josh. You can hear the influence from Dave Matthews in

background vocals. Apparently it was inspired to his recent trip to

South Africa (where dave matthews is from) where he also met Nelson

Mandela. He performs this with the help of Ladysmith Black Mambazo,

which really gives it an almost gospel sound type sound not heard

from Josh before. "weeping", also performed with Ladysmith Black

Mambazo has more of a "tribal" feel to it (like Lion King) also,

excellent and different for Josh.

Though the bonus tracks are great on the Special Edition, I'm not

sure the almost double price difference is worth it. The DVD is only

33 minutes long and simply is the "making" of the album.
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Topic From this Discussion
The meaning of February Song
You've heard of a May-September relationship, meaning someone in early adulthood hooking up with someone much older. Well - if May is a young adult, I think February must be childhood. I think he's talking about growing from childhood to adulthood...
"Where has that old friend gone, lost... Read More
May 7, 2007 by H. Cassidy |  See all 29 posts
You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)
I take it as being God, but I think it is unique to each individual... I see it being God because He is the most central figure in my life, but if someone isn't religious and has a very encouraging friend, that person could be the speaker. Or a parent, relative, or even someone who had a big... Read More
Sep 1, 2007 by C. Wolcyk |  See all 7 posts
the meaning of Machine
Yes Amy, in my opinion, it's about people that are trying to bring you down... how you have to believe in yourself, stand up to those people and live your life according to your own beliefs. Basically to me, it's a 'how dare you' song to people who want to tell you what to do, but don't know how... Read More
Aug 7, 2007 by C. Aguilar |  See all 16 posts
His Demeanor
Alicia, please do not think that interview is the norm...anything but! Josh was just fooling around (he is, after all, a very young man)...and boy, did he catch holy heck from some of his fans that were just as shocked as you. What you do not know is that he has a wonderful sense of humor. In... Read More
Apr 27, 2007 by Tangled |  See all 10 posts
February Song -January Jones?
haha-- no i dont. and the lyrics might support that, but its certainly not a conclusion we can jump to. no one knows what happened, and its not as though we're going to talk about "my december" because december comes before january.
Nov 10, 2006 by E. Leigh Redmond |  See all 14 posts
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