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A thing to make me smile:

I'm using YouTube as my music source today, and currently I've got a couple Groban album playlists going, including a fair number of the official music videos that I have never seen. Really enchanted by "Hidden Away." Restarting it for the millionth time, my instinct was to quote "god he's hot," from a TV show somewhere. I was about to go look up what it was to see if I could find a gif, and just as quickly I remembered it was from The Crazy Ones...and the character, was in fact, referring to Josh Groban. (as Danny Chase, but same difference)

What I'm saying is, in an episode full of amazing quotes, that is clearly the best one.
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And now, I think it's time to make my predictions for the Bridges album, sound unheard, based on whatever limited things I have read about it and/or my first impressions from the song titles alone.

Prologue
Honestly, even letting myself see song titles almost feels like a spoiler where Groban territory is concerned, where I normally allow myself exactly ONE sample -- the first single -- and then I wait to hear the rest until I have the physical CD in my hands for Christmas or my birthday, whichever comes first. It's a very important tradition stretching back to the release of "Illuminations," and the only time I broke it was for Stages, when I (correctly) suspected that Broadway covers might not work the same magic.

Fine, it's a 2-album tradition, but I LIKE it. He is one of two artists so far to never disappoint me with an album release -- I am again discounting Stages, because pure covers don't count. much like Christmas albums. Although I liked his --  and I really can't quite articulate how breathlessly good it feels to unwrap a CD full of shiny new tracks and KNOW that you're going to enjoy at least the vast majority of it. It's a gift like no other.

Also I've been having a blast reading old (handwritten) journal entries where I wrote down my first impressions of each song after I had listened to each of his new-to-me CDs a couple of times, so I can only imagine that MORE text to look back on in the future is better.

General Impressions
Booklet cover: wow, that is a lot of orange and pink. It is much brighter than anything he's ever released; even Closer was a more toned down orange. I read that this corresponds with the album content being lighter, too -- that he's done the sad songs, but right now it feels like we need more positive and uplifting music. I respect that ideology a lot. I'm just not sure what it's going to sound like. Maybe jazzy pop? He’s in full hipster mode right now, honestly, but I think I can dig it.

Specific Song Title Impressions In No Particular Order
(given that The Good Cop's fandom has already spoiled me for You Have No Idea, which I love, ensuring I now have to get the Fancy Exclusive Target Edition of an album for the first time in my life)

  • I hope that I will love River; this is the one that's being talked about in the same interviews with headlines like "Josh Groban opens up about depression," which by the way? That is the content I am here for.

  • SO EXCITE for the Sarah McLachlan duet, oh my god. MY FOUNDING MOTHER OF MUSIC WITH THE VOICE STRAIGHT FROM HEAVEN?? I am...... alive......

  • Worried about the Jennifer Nettles one, as I feel like we have musically clashed in the past and its apparent popularity makes me even more nervous that I'll be naturally Contrary about it...but "99 Years" sounds promising as a concept so I am sitting on my hands to prevent myself looking up lyrics. You'll hear them when you hear it unfold, Self. No cheating.

  • Bridge Over Troubled Water is a real dicey prospect; can his voice rescue it? His voice cannot always rescue garbage. I would go so far as to say it has never rescued a song I inherently dislike to this degree. I don't even know why I dislike it so much, but it's really boring and saccharine to me.

  • I am EXCITE for another French song; he has only ever done two and neither impressed me the way I wanted

  • Update: OH NO, I thought the Sarah M. duet was going to be River, and assumed it was the Joni Mitchell cover for some reason despite what my first bullet point says, but apparently this River is an original and the Sarah M. duet is... Run.

  • Which -- NO! I already HAVE a cover of that as performed by Katharine McPhee, who is an extremely different type of performer from either of you and sorry, but I am very wedded to her version. I don't know what I am going to do now. Put it out of mind, I guess?

  • (P.S. why is your bizarrely coincidental Foster connection not coming through for me when I need it??)

  • (Answer: because she is nowhere near Groban's league and we all know it, I just wanted a space to talk about how boggled my mind is that the year I go back to stanning her is the year she hooks up with the guy who also made Josh Groban -- whom I have also just gone back to stanning this year -- happen)

  • ANYWAY. MOVING ON.

  • Some other promising-sounding titles in the mix -- Symphony and Granted

  • I am kinda sad there’s no Italian, but it did him no favors on All That Echoes and I will take a French addition over that any day.

  • UPDATE Y'ALL the French song is a cover of a Celine Dion one?? Good work @ choosing quality ladies this year

  • Update 2: Apparently it is "S'il suffisait d'aimer" off The French Album, which now concerns me because I owned that album for a short time but only ever really clicked with two songs off it -- and this was not one of them.

  • However, I am cautiously optimistic that this is a song his voice could definitely upgrade

  • OK what else am I missing...

  • Musica del Corazon "ft. Vicente Amigo" has me a little nervous. I'm hoping Amigo is an instrumentalist and not a vocalist, but as much as my brain perks up at the promise of a Spanish track too, for some reason this is giving me flashbacks to my lukewarm response to Italian songs he's done with featured instrumentalists

  • We Will Meet Once Again "ft. Andrea Bocelli." Oh dear. This one too. This one is definitely Danger Zone feelings, entirely due to the featured name. (((NERVOUS)))

  • Won't Look Back is a middle-of-the-pack track and I can't get a read on it. QUESTION MARK.

  • More Of You follows it. Stab in the dark says i like one but not the other.

  • Bigger Than Us is the closer on the regular CD, and I'm hopeful because his albums usually close strong.

  • She's Always A Woman: I think this was a bonus track way back in the day, or at least one he performed somewhere, and I am pretty sure I rejected it then on the grounds of being dull.

  • Target bonus tracks Signs and Everything You Need also definitely have my ears perked up at promising titles, especially the intrigue of the former. The only bonus edition album I currently own is Awake, and on that one 2 out of the 3 extras are VERY worth it, so I hope these follow that pattern.



While I am here, I would also like to quickly hand out my...

TV Things I'm Thankful For

  • The Good Cop. However brief and brilliant.

  • Matthew Gray Gubler staying on Criminal Minds for fourteen damn years, longer than almost anyone else

  • Relatedly: Criminal Minds and the Magical Casting Powers that allow them continous upgrades like no show before or since

  • NCIS lasting longer than my interest in it (that's the way I want my shows to go out!)

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