Summary

Vocalist Josh Groban's sixth studio album, 2013's All That Echoes, features more of the crossover classical music that has become his trademark, while pushing further than ever toward the pop end of the spectrum. This is largely due to producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, Paramore), who frames Groban's burnished croon in sweeping alt-rock arrangements that layer atmospheric guitar lines against grand orchestral segments. It also doesn't hurt that with every album, Groban has garnered more co-writing credits, adding to the intimate and personal vibe of All That Echoes. Tracks like leadoff single "Brave" and the dramatic ballad "False Alarms" bring to mind the yearning uplift of bands like U2 and OneRepublic, albeit helmed by Groban's crisp vocal intonation and soaring, resonant style. And as with all of Groban's releases, he has made great choices for songs to cover. Here, listeners get impassioned takes on such songs as Glen Hansard's "Falling Slowly" and Stevie Wonder's "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)." Though he's known for his mainstream appeal, Groban has never shied away from trying new and unexpected songs, and All That Echoes is no exception, featuring a moody and contemporary reworking of the traditional Celtic song "She Moved Through the Fair" as well as a truly inspired reading of Jimmy Webb's "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress," which turns the soulful ballad into a heartbreaking Broadway-style showpiece. Also adding to the album's quality are guest appearances from trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and Italian singer Laura Pausini. While all of Groban's albums are immaculately produced affairs, All That Echoes is one of his best. ~ Matt Collar