Music Review: “Noël”


 

Josh Groban’s 2007 Christmas album “Noël,” along with 2004’s (also Christmas-themed) “Believe” and 2005’s “You Raise Me Up,” might be Groban’s most signature pieces ever. When fans think of Josh Groban, they think of the smooth baritone crooning out Christmas classics. What kid at Christmas time hasn’t tried to emulate Groban’s deep vibrato?

Right from the start of the set, it’s no wonder this album went on to become 5x Platinum and chart #1 on the Billboard 200 for 5 weeks. Groban pulls you in and serenades you perfectly to immediately put you in the Christmas mood. Listen to this album in the middle of July and you’re likely to start longing for the winter holidays.

Groban didn’t venture this alone, however. First off, he enlisted superstar producer David Foster (Céline Dion, Michael Bublé, Charice) to help craft this beautiful collection. Guitarist Andy McKee and vocalist Gigi Hadid help out on “Little Drummer Boy,” the second song on “Noël.” Hadid reappears on “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” which is also accompanied by the voice of United States soldiers who are missing the holidays with their families. This one, I’m sure you’ve heard on the radio at Christmas time. It’s hard not to hear it at least once during the season.

Brian McKnight duets with Groban on “Angels We Have Heard on High” and the result is absolutely heavenly. “The First Noël” features Faith Hill and the album wraps up with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on “O Come All Ye Faithful.” 

Groban’s voice holds its own as he takes on Latin in “Ave Maria,” French on “Petit Papa Noël,” and Latin yet again on “Panis Angelicus.”

“Noël” is truly a classic Christmas album and Groban’s smooth vocals perfectly fit each of these songs.


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