Josh Groban – StagesCultureMusicAlbum reviews
Stages is the seventh album by Josh Groban, a man with a varied back-catalogue spanning from Christmas songs to original compositions, all dramatically performed in his rich baritone. This is a theatre album, showcasing a range of tracks from classic musicals, which are here given the Groban treatment. He puts his signature style on each song bringing a new interpretation to some and fully capturing the gravity of others. This is not an easy challenge to undertake with such well-known and well-respected songs, which already have a captivated and dedicated audience. However, Groban’s reputation and ability mean that he is the right candidate to do so.
The songs chosen are all from pivotal moments in their respective musicals. They are all perfectly suited to Groban’s tone and his ability to bring their meaning to the fore. It begins with iconic songs like Bring Him Home from Les Miserables or Somewhere Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz. There are also lesser-known songs such as Old Devil Moon from Finian’s Rainbow, but they are all handled with equal grace and regard.
The control that Groban exhibits over his voice makes the emotion of each story palpable. He slowly releases tension, pain, and longing in each song with sweeping rises and falls that are a theatrical experience in themselves. Groban is able to find the soul of the musical they were chosen from and imprint them onto each song in a way that makes them immediately relatable, even if one is unfamiliar with the original musical. The order of the album is well-chosen also, blending into one another seamlessly and telling a wider story outside of themselves.
Bringing Groban together with these songs is a marriage of styles that was a long time coming. His is the perfect vehicle to bring these tracks to life. To showcase them to Groban’s fans in this way has the potential to bring in new audiences to classic theatre, and that will perhaps in turn bring new theatre fans to Groban’s music.
Stages was released on 27th April 2015, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for What I Did For Love here: