My belated response to Josh Groban's new album, All That Echoes, expresses my less than stellar interest in approaching this set of songs.
Understand this much: I've been listening to his music for long enough that I'll buy his new music like I would a relative's. But his second album, Closer, remains undoubtedly my favorite. I could never get into Illuminations; it has a couple of songs I like, but I always felt a disconnect with it. So to have another album come out before I've come to terms with the previous one was an odd place to start.
But I may like All That Echoes more than Illuminations. "False Alarms" is wonderful. It reminds me somewhat of another favorite (possibly my absolute favorite of Josh's songs): "Never Let Go." It's atmospheric and melodic. You can just listen to its sound one time, but then go back and listen to the words another time. "Brave" isn't too bad, either. "Un Alma Mas" works very nicely--gotta love the Spanish ("Si Volvieras A Mi" and "Mi Morena" are also some of my favorite Josh songs). "Hollow Talk" rounds out the songs I connected with--it's also "atmospheric," isn't it? The way that the sound builds up reminds me, strangely, of Neil Finn's "Song of the Lonely Mountain" from The Hobbit. You may make fun of me if you wish.
That's four songs, though. There are others that I'm neutral toward or somewhat enjoy, but there are also others that I pause at and say, really? I saw a review on iTunes stating that the album was just trying to make bad songs good or some such thing. I can't say I agree with that particular review, but there were some song choices and stylistic choices that I wasn't exactly thrilled by. I'll leave it at that.
I would just rather have an entire set of songs I was excited about than only a handful. So I'll continue skipping around from album to album, focusing on the songs I like from each one.