Longs for Toten
November 7, 2006
(Thank you to Karen/poperagurl for this transcript)
Having sold over 15 million albums, 25 year old Josh Groban can do whatever he wants with the rest of his life. One of the things he longs to do, is to visit Toten...

- My dear, dear Norway! I've been there at least six or seven times and feel very at home there. My great great grandparents were from Toten, so I have some Norwegian blood from my mother's side of the family. I'd love to take some time to look around the next time I visit Norway, Josh Groban says -- his new album Awake is being released today.

The slim young man looks very honest and sincere under his dark curly locks. He talks about how he and his family went back to find their Norwegian roots when he was 13, about the great musical taste the Norwegian CD buyers have, and looking forward to playing in Spektrum some time in the spring next year.

And he has to mention Rolf Løvland. The man who wrote his biggest hit, You Raise Me Up -- one of the reasons why his last album Closer has sold a whooping 13 million copies worldwide.
-Rolf is a great guy with a huge talent, and a good spokesman for creative energy.

-Would you consider recording another of his songs?
-That just didn't happen this time around. But we keep in touch and I think the opportunity may come in the future. I would like that. Really I would!

Josh Groban has kept a low profile since the success that came with Closer. He's spent the last few years working intensively with this new album. For the first time he's produced some songs himself.
-I wanted to make an album without a safety net, where everything meant something to me, he said.

When doing research on Josh you find out a lot about the things he's done, how many albums he's sold and pictures of him with the celebrities he's performed with. But there are no scandals associated with his name. He seems to be a very decent guy.

-No, I don't have much to hide.

-The worst thing I managed to dig up was that you just broke up with your girlfriend (January Jones) and such things happen, right?
-Yeah…and we still love each other, even though we're moving on and seeing other people. I'm like that; there isn't that much of a circus around me.

He sings pretty songs, has raised millions for charity, dresses properly, likes to watch stupid movies with his friends and be a completely normal 25 year old. He claims he's pretty good at that.

-There's no chance in hell that I'll be a different person to my friends now than in the 15 years they've known me, he says.


Review: 4 out of 6 stars

American Josh Groban is a typical crossover artist who does both classical arias and modern pop music. He should stick to one of the genres.

The modern pop style songs on his new album Awake are the most interesting tracks, the classical songs are just too much. He sings both in English and Italian.

Josh Groban wrote three songs on his new album, and Herbie Hancock is among the featured artists. They team up on the great song "Machine", and that song along with "Weeping" (where Josh sings with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Vusi Mahlasela) and "You Are Loved" makes Josh's baritone voice stand out the way it should.

Recommended songs: "You Are Loved," "Machine" and "Weeping."