Noël

Josh Groban

The Grammy-nominated, twenty-something, pop-classical phenomenon’s fourth studio album is an expertly accomplished entry to the holiday marketplace. NoŽl tackles the familiar sounds of holiday music with a charmingly eclectic array of guest vocalists and a wide range of material. The songs range from the sacred to the secular, while Groban—buoyed in spots by none other than the London Symphony Orchestra—soars in his duets with Brian McKnight, Faith Hill, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. There’s even a song with a gospel choir directed by Kirk Franklin. Produced yet again by crossover maestro David Foster, the arrangements never overwhelm the songs. Groban’s smooth and supple vocals can be hard to categorize—seeing how his range is somewhere in-between a high baritone and a low tenor—but he always finds and emphasizes the emotional core of these songs. And whether they have origins in pop or classical music seems not to matter. The addition of messages from troops stationed in Iraq on top of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is undeniably heart-wrenching, while the album’s highlight is its most spare song, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” which finds Groban alone at his piano, sounding very much like some kind of angel.

  • Silent Night
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas
  • Ave Maria
  • Angels We Have Heard On High
  • Thankful
  • The Christmas Song
  • What Child Is This?
  • The First Noel
  • Petit Papa Noel
  • It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  • Panis Angelicus
  • O Come All Ye Faithful