Noel
by Josh Groban, classical (2007)
WEA/Reprise, $18.98, ASIN B000V6Z0XA


Okay, this is really vile. I have a love-hate relationship with bland milquetoast tenors - nobody can pry my collection of Helmut Lotti CDs from my fingers for as long as I live - and heaven knows I have been conflicted about Josh Groban ever since he appeared on Ally McBeal with that song that would soon be overplayed to death. But Noel is indeed utterly vile and I can only imagine that the fact that it sold in obscene amounts to supermarkets and any other building with elevators everywhere can only mean that the world has indeed gone to the devil.

This utterly soulless collection of Christmas standards is more gimmicky than anything else to sell the schmaltz. Mr Groban could have been dragged into the studio in a drunken stupor for all I know because that's how soulless he sounds here. Instead, the people behind the record instead pull out every gimmick they can think of to sell the sap. Kiddie choirs are everywhere, with those underpaid kids trying their best to sell the whole sickeningly wholesome lambs-to-the-slaughter vibes with the songs. Oh, with something like I'll Be Home For Christmas, here are all those embarrassingly corny sound clips of people sending messages of love and peace to their loved ones that are supposedly far away from them on Christmas! Of course, let's not forget the bagpipes and tin whistles, standard musical instruments of supermarket music passed off as "New Age music" everywhere since some Devil-worshiping moron somewhere decided that it would be grand to remix My Heart Will Go On with a pile of doo-doo-doo tin whistle pipings.

High on nauseating sentimentalism but completely low on actual passion and soul in the vocals, listening to Noel is like unwrapping a Christmas gift only to find a bucket of vomit inside. Even the Devil will cry like a baby when he is forced to listen to this, I'd wager.

Rating: 01


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