Jody Rosen
November 03, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

Awake (Music - Josh Groban)

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Josh Groban
Producers
Reprise Records
genre
Pop

We gave it a C-

Music’s answer to the Harlequin novel is back. Groban has sold 14 million CDs worldwide by reviving the tradition of tenors like Mario Lanza, singing lush ballads in a pseudo-classical style. Awake tweaks the formula slightly, as on an endear ingly awkward collaboration with artsy singer Imogen Heap (”Now or Never”). But mostly, it’s inspirational bromides and extravagant love oaths, swathed in reverb. Nothing wrong with that per se, but Groban is too stiff to be romantic, and adds no interpretative insight to the songs. He’ll still sell zillions, though.

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