30 September, 2010

Illuminations track listing...

The track listing for Illuminations has been unveiled :
Wandering Kind (Prelude)
Bells of New York City
L'Ora Dell'Addio
Hidden Away
Au Jardin Des Sans Pourquoi
Higher Window
If I Walk Away
Love Only Knows
Voce Existe Em Mim
War At Home
London Hymn
Straight To You
Josh Groban breaks new ground of artistic and personal growth with his long-awaited fifth studio album, Illuminations, to be released on November 15th, 2010, from Reprise Records. The album is the rewardingly surprise-filled result of the unexpected but stimulating teaming with veteran producer Rick Rubin, known for his iconic work with Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash and Dixie Chicks among many others.

This unprecedented partnership saw both Groban and Rubin stepping out of their respective zones to come together and create an entirely new zone where art meets intimacy and immediacy meets timelessness. Most importantly, Groban -- who ranks as Billboard Magazine's 14th top-selling artist of the 2000s with more than 20 million units in the U.S. alone -- was free to express himself at his fullest by tapping into a new range of expression and emotional connection with lyrics drawn straight from the heart. Lead song "Hidden Away," went to radio September 13, one of six co-written by Groban and Dan Wilson (former leader of the band Semisonic and co-writer of several cuts on the Dixie Chicks' Not Ready to Make Nice), provides an emotional and artistic center, its plea for a romantic ideal given a musical setting highlighting the raw honesty and natural gifts of Groban as a singer, musician and writer.

"These are my stories," says Groban, who co-wrote eleven of the thirteen songs on the album. "For every one of these songs, someone's going to know it's about them. I'm going to get a text message about every one! This is a very personal record."

Elsewhere Groban makes his first foray into singing Portuguese on the vibrant "Voce Existe Em Mim (You Exist In Me)," returns to the more familiar Italian language with "L'Ora Dell'Addio" (a lush collaboration with the great composer/arranger Walter Afanasieff and lyricist Marco Marinagneli), paints a loving portrait of the Big Apple with "The Bells of New York City," with and offers his own, highly personal take on Nick Cave's poetic and passionate "Straight to You."

"Josh is a one-of-a-kind artist and he works in a genre I have never worked in before," says Rubin. "So there was a great excitement discovering our 'way in' to get to his essence and make a fine art album unlike any he has made before."

For most of the songs, Rubin devised a setting to maximize the honesty and spontaneity of the performances. Recording live with Groban playing piano and singing alongside acoustic guitarists. Matt Sweeney, Smokey Hormel, and iconic organist Spooner Oldham also played on several tracks. From those sessions, multi-hued orchestrations were crafted by David Campbell for nine songs and James Newton-Howard for two, while Brazilian great Carlinhos Brown created the dynamic setting for "Voce Existe Em Mim (You Exist In Me)" in his Bahia home, including the power of an all-girl drum corps -- the only drums on the album.

The partnership of Rubin and Groban developed organically and out of deep mutual respect. After an exploratory meeting, both were eager to take on a full album project. "From Day 1 it wasn't about anything to prove, but two people finding a place to work together -- two scared people," Groban quips. "We wanted to find our line... and walk past it. From Rick's view the grandness was something we wanted to embrace. I was given the very lofty task of having more responsibility on this album than I've ever had. The bar was set high from the beginning. That's why it took so long. But I can say that more of me went into this record than anything I've done."

Illuminations was three years in the making, but the writing and recording came in bursts of creativity as Groban busied himself with other projects, including starring in a 21st-anniversary performance of the cult musical Chess at London's Royal Albert Hall, performing a comic medley of well-known TV theme songs at the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, duetting with Heather Headley at We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, guest starring twice on Fox's hit show Glee, and filming a role in Crazy Stupid Love, a motion picture comedy starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, and, due in spring 2011.


29 September, 2010

Pre-order your album now!!!!

After a long 4 year wait, we finally have a release date.

Illuminations will be released in the US on 15 November. International dates to come.

An exclusive fan edition is currently available for pre-order at store on Josh's website.

The package includes:
- 5.5" x 11" Collectible Folio wrapped in ivory linen with inner panels that contain:
**Illuminations CD with 14 new tracks
**DVD featuring the "Making of Illuminations"*
**48 page color photo book including lyrics, photos, & more with a special foreword from Josh
- 2 EXCLUSIVE BONUS Tracks + full album delivered digitally on release date

*Fan edition DVD is region free for international fans

New website...

Look who's website just got a makeover.


28 September, 2010

Update from Tariqh...

Tariqh has just posted this on his Facebook page...
"For all you Josh Groban fans out there, there's is some INCREDIBLY exciting stuff on the horizon. Although I'm sworn to secrecy, let me just say that YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT. AMAZING doesn't begin to describe what's coming your way :-)."


Writing Hidden Away...

My tip, make sure you watch it in "Full Screen".. ;-)

26 September, 2010

A quick clip on Access Hollywood...

Via the New York desk.

The second story on Weekend Radar from the "BING... Our School's Need" launch.

Get tweeting (Part 2)...

I deleted my original post as there was confusion about what this is all about, so I've added some more detailed instructions which I hope make it a little clearer for everyone out there.

If you're on Twitter and update your status to include Josh Groban in your tweet, your Twitter avatar will be included in on Josh's wall of tweets on the opening splash page of his website.

Actually, it's even easier than I originally thought, all you need to do is submit a tweet with the words "Josh Groban" or even just plain old "Groban" in it.  Easy...  Then check out the splash page here.

(Just to be clear - this post isn't asking to leave your tweets in the comments section.  Instead just tweet the words Josh Groban in any tweet and they will show up.)

So get tweeting and spread the Josh.

22 September, 2010

Radio interviews...

Josh has been hitting the airways to promote the new single and the album.

16 Sept - 106.7 Lite FM New York

17 September - Seattle Warm 106.9

20 September - Denver KOSI 101

20 September - Salt Lake City 98.7
Podcast (In 4 parts)

21 September - Dallas 103.7 LiteFM

21 September - LA 104.3 MyFM
Josh Groban In-Studio

21 September - NY 102.7 Fresh FM

1 October - Lite 100.5 WRCH (Artist Of The Week)

It's confirmed...

Josh has confirmed on Twitter that he is indeed returning to host the British TV show "Nevermind The Buzzcocks"!!!

His appearance back in December 2008 was an absolute classic.  If you haven't seen it, or you just want to relive the memories, you can watch it on the video page of Josh's website.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Source 1
Source 2
Source 3

18 September, 2010

Hidden Away performance clip...

I've got to say that this song is growing on me...

Hope you enjoy this sneak peek.

16 September, 2010

Saving band practice...

Tonic.com is reporting that Josh will help launch Bing's Our School Needs competition by donating instruments to Marie Curie Middle School. The Bayside, N.Y.-located Title 1 school has more than 50 percent of its students qualifying for free lunches.

Most of the students in the school's band can't afford to purchase instruments, so the band teacher, Ms. Schecter, relies on having her students share instruments, many of which are 20-30 years old. It is not uncommon for up to four of her students to share one flute. To help raise awareness for the need to support our schools, Groban will donate a variety of new instruments on behalf of Bing to Schecter's students.

“I am so excited to be a part of Bing’s Our School Needs campaign,” Groban said. “Schools across the country are facing severe budget cuts and the arts programs are usually the first to go. I am honored to have the opportunity to help provide new instruments to the Marie Curie Middle School band to help Ms. Schecter continue to make a difference in her student’s lives through music education.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I really love reading about Josh 'giving back'. 

15 September, 2010

Album photoshoot pic...

Another picture has surfaced from the album photoshoot.  This one is up on Josh's Amazon.com page.


Live Chat...

And so the publicity machine begins - Radio Station 106.7 Lite FM New York is hosting an online video chat with Josh on Thursday, September 16 at 11am EST! Josh will be in the studio taking questions from his fans.

You can submit your question in advance at the station website here.

 If you need to work out what time this is in your part of the world, go to timeanddate.com (EST is New York time).

Feeling like an Alien...

See the 0:37 second mark.

12 September, 2010

New York Fashion Week...

Look who is settling in to life in NYC...  Here Josh is attending the Charlotte Ronson Spring 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. Josh even managed to get a coveted seat in the front row, which is 'the place' to sit.  Because at Fashion Week, it’s where you sit that counts (see this NY Times article).

Gotta love Josh's tweet about the experience.

Front row baby, with Brent Bolthouse and Nicky Hilton

11 September, 2010

Cover Art (take two)...

Looks like the crew at JG.com had a bit of a problem when they uploaded the cover art to the website. But it's all fixed now...  Gotta say I like this new & improved version.

(BTW - does anyone else see the irony in the fact that the cover for "Illuminations" was too dark.  LOL)

And here are Josh's tweets about it.
Source 1
Source 2

Cover Art...

The cover art for the new CD has just been released.  What do you think?


08 September, 2010

Hidden Away Cover Art...


And as an added bonus you can listen to a brief sample on Amazon.com

New single announced...

Josh's facebook page has just announced that the new single will be 'Hidden Away'.  No doubt the website will be updated shortly.

This is the song Josh performed at the Walmart Shareholders meeting a few weeks ago.  I can't wait to hear the studio version.


01 September, 2010

We have an album name...

Yes, the worst kept secret on the internet has been revealed.

Josh's new album title will be "ILLUMINATIONS".

The announcement was 'exclusively' made on FoJG (Friends of Josh Groban), the paid member area of JoshGroban.com but it didn't stay an 'exclusive' for long as it very quickly spread over the new world of social media (twitter/facebook etc.).  It was subsequntly announced on the main (free) section of the site.

Just my opinion - but as a paying member of a fanclub, one of the promised benefits of joining is of exclusive content, and yes, I do find it a little disappointing that the exclusive nature of this announcement wasn't respected.  It's not like it was going to be kept a secret from the rest of the world forever.  But at the end of the day, it's the music on CD that I'm looking forward and won't care what it's called once it's in my hands and playing on my iPod.

And I love that how in Josh's own special way he handled the situation brilliantly.  Below are his tweets:
And yes, he even gave a shout out to his 'tentative' album name from back in July.

Sigh No More...

- from the Live4Pakistan event. The song "Sigh No More" is originally by Mumford and Sons

And.... stay tuned. The album has a name!!!