November 19, 2020
By Alicia Powell
(Reuters) – Josh Groban is wishing for some “Harmony” as he releases a new album with that title during a virtual concert tour that lacks the usual live action and applause.
“Not just because of the obvious musical connotations, but just because of the effort that needed to come as far as just bringing some order to the chaos,” said the 39-year-old singer-songwriter.
Groban, who has battled depression, said the pandemic led him to be more proactive in dealing with his mental health.
“It’s the hardest album process I’ve ever had in my career… So, it was a word that represented everything that had to go into it.”
The album, due out on Friday, features covers of classics including “Impossible Dream,” “Angels” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” It also has original duets with Leslie Odom Jr., Sara Bareilles and gospel star Kirk Franklin.
As his live concerts were canceled due to COVID-19, Groban reluctantly decided to livestream three concerts.
“I was skeptical. I knew that there’d be no applause,” said Groban, who shot to fame in 1998 standing in for tenor Andrea Bocelli in a rehearsal with Celine Dion for the Grammy Awards.
“It was going to be singing in a very isolated kind of void. And so, I said, OK, well, sure, I know this is what we have to do, but will I enjoy it?”
In October, the first concert – a salute to Broadway -revealed a silver lining.
“You have these thousands of little boxes in 85 countries, all sharing an hour and a half where we’re able to get out of ourselves for a minute and escape,” he said.
A Thanksgiving show is next, followed by a holiday show on Dec. 19.
(Reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by Richard Chang and Rosalba O’Brien)