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All That Echoes The Rescues | Blah Blah Love and War
Hayley Holmes Album name: All that Echoes
Label name: Reprise Records
Release date: February 5, 2013
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review written by: Luanne Lim
All that Echoes marks singer-songwriter, Josh Groban’s, sixth studio album. Released three years after Illuminations, Groban’s voice still manages to amaze listeners with its incredible tone and power. If that wasn’t enough of a “wow” factor, the 12-song album features songs written and sung in Spanish and Italian. The album also features seven songs that were co-written by Groban himself.

Kicking off the album is  All that Echoes first single. “Brave” was released in 2012 as sort of a teaser for the new record. It’s one of the songs Groban co-wrote for the album. “Brave” reveals an inspiring message: Be brave, even when things look bleak- even if you want to run away. Instead of being afraid, “smile into the fear and let it play.” This song is a great starter to the album, introducing the beautiful lyrics waiting to be heard in the following tracks.

The second song, “False Alarms,” is almost like a testimony to “Brave.” Groban sings of heartache as he realizes that he must make a decision that he knows will hurt him, but might not affect the significant other. The song puts to music the common saying, “If you love something, set it free. If it doesn’t come back, it was never yours to begin with.” All hope isn’t lost, though, despite the heartbreaking lyrics. The final notes reveal a bittersweet thought, “I am closing up my window til I see a blue horizon, and the quiet calm of love will fly my way.”

Track three is titled “Falling Slowly.” This track is all about falling in love. (I, personally, believe it to be addressing falling for a close friend… but that’s just me). Whatever the interpretation of the song may be, the track displays Groban’s vocal range beautifully. It’s a ballad, sung with the soft accompaniment of a variety of classical instruments. “Falling Slowly” maintains a slow, soothing beat, building up anticipation once the chorus kicks in.

Track four appears to tell the story of a girl. It repeats the same line, “It will not be long til our wedding day.” Titled, “She Moved Through the Fair,” the song seems to take on a folksong approach by telling a narrative. The song has a slow tempo, completely contrasted to the upbeat, tropical sound of track five, “Below the Line.”

“Below the Line,” as previously stated, has a very fast beat. It poses the statement, “we’re all living below the line,” suggesting that we’re not living life to its fullest. It also hints a possible cause for this: our need for material things, asking the question, “how long to go until we ask for more?” This song is probably the most unique track on the album.

All that Echoes’ features three songs written and sung in different languages. Track eight is written and sung in Spanish, while track six is Italian. “El Ti Prometterò” features the vocal talents of Italian singer, Laura Pausini, while “Un Alma Más” features the vocals of Arturo Sandoval. The track titled, “Sincera,” translating to mean “sincere,” is sung by Groban alone.

Returning to English songs, "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,” reveals the downfalls of giving into temptation - allowing yourself to fall for someone who seems perfect. Groban personifies the moon, comparing it to a woman who broke his heart… pretty badly, too. Accompanied by a piano, Groban warns, “though she looks as warm as gold, the moon’s a harsh mistress, the moon can be so cold.”

“Happy in My Heartache” shows slow recovery from a break-up. Assuring himself that he should move on, the song contains a cheery beat. Groban sings, “I know these walls are crumbling, and I won’t stay to watch them fall.”  He shows that happiness can be found again, even though it seems impossible and pointless to try and look.

The happy mood from the previous track disappears instantly in track eleven. “Hollow Talk” has a haunting beat behind it, picking up pace to a dramatic orchestra during the final verses, ending with the sad line: “There has never been bad, there has always been truth. Rooted whispers of the things you lose.”

Concluding the album is Groban’s cover of the great Stevie Wonder’s song, “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever). The song ends the album with a bang, featuring a gospel choir as backup. Though most songs on the album are addressing post-breakup feelings and situations, “I Believe (When I Fall in Love it Will Be Forever), keeps the hope that your next relationship might be with “The One.”  

According to Josh Groban’s official site, All that Echoes is the singer’s ambitious attempt to expand into a new territory. Though some tracks do sound quicker and more pop-ish than what is usually associated with Groban’s big voice, others play it on the safe side, staying true to his mellow, classical, gospel-pop sound. The album is absolutely stunning lyrically, containing many metaphors and analogies that capture the essence and messages of each individual song.  

Overall, All that Echoes is a great sentiment to Groban’s talent, showing his growth and mastering of his skills as a musical artist.  
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