Artist: Josh Groban
Reviewer: Rod Strachan
Josh Groban returns in 2020 with his new album titled “Harmony”. Slated for release on November 20th featuring ten covers of bucket list tracks Josh has been longing to release plus two new originals. This is studio release number nine and his first since 2018’s “Bridges”.
“The World We Know (Over And Over)” is the lead off track. A track covered by many of the great vocalists of our time. Josh’s version bursts into a James Bond soundtrack type atmosphere early in the track before bursting into his familiar vocals. A bombastic opening that would be easily placed at the head of a live concert opening.
“Angels” Robbie Williams cover follows perfectly sequenced to give the album that one two kick we always look for in an album. As a huge fan of the original recorded by Robbie, Josh does the track more than justice with his vocal performance and pristine accompanying music tracks.
“Celebrate Me Home” has been recorded by a few major acts over the years including the original by Kenny Loggins and country music star LeAnn Rimes. This version is a worthy addition to the collection of covers and adds some sentiment give the way of the world in 2020.
“Shape of My Heart” Josh covers the 1993 Sting single here with help of Leslie Odom Jr with a stirring rendition. Delivered with its own trading of vocals and musical brilliance Josh and Leslie find the mystical logic the original did almost three decades ago.
“Your Face” is the first of the two original tracks that made the final album. An awe inspiring and uplifting song that should see heavy rotation on the airwaves. Radio friendly both on the easy listening stations and should appeal to the religious ones as well with its references to God.
“Both Sides Now” features Sara Bareilles in this beautiful rendition of the Joni Mitchell written classic. Josh and Sara’s voices perfectly complement each other as they trade off faultless vocals of this highly covered track. A true highlight of the album.
“She” best known recorded by Charles Aznavour is next up. A simple yet eloquent recital of the song which charted so well decades ago across the globe.
“The Impossible Dream (The Quest)” has an all-star resume of recording artists covering it over the years. Josh gives it a taste of 2020 in all its glory here.
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” is a Roberta Flack classic. I came into this song thinking her version was untouchable. I left thinking this is a version that stands alongside hers as telling the story from a male perspective. Pure perfection.
“It’s Now or Never” is Elvis Presley’s biggest selling single of all time. Another song almost untouchable in the true essence of the word. Josh comes close through his purest vocal abilities. Elvis is on another level but Josh is a very close second through his voice!
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” is the penultimate track and a tip of the hat to Bonnie Raitt classic from 1991. The piano driven track is perfectly executed here and yet another highlight of the second half of the album.
“The Fullest” rounds out the album featuring Kirk Franklin. The second original track featured in a similar vein lyrically to “Your Face” but additional backing vocals. A great ending to a very well structured album.
“Harmony” is an album flourished full of classic tracks revisited and two new ones added to Josh’s ever growing catalogue of hits. It deserves far more than the glance over of many preceding counterparts. Josh Groban’s vocal and musical expertise are the very reasons this album should be on your shelf.