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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Josh Groban (piano, keyboards, drums, background vocals); Josh Groban; Bakithi Kumalo (vocals); Tawgs Salter (guitar, piano, keyboards, programming, keyboard programming); Dean Parks, Michael Hart Thompson , Joel Shearer, Michael Thompson , Ram?n Stagnaro, Vincent Nguini, Robbie McIntosh (guitar); Chris Elliott (dulcimer, piano); Fiona Hibbert (harp); James Freebarin-Smith (cello); Tower of Power (brass); Greg Adams , Greg Vail, Lee Thornburg, Nick Lane, Tom Scott (horns); Imogen Heap (piano, programming); Walter Afanasieff (piano); Eric Mouquet, Glen Ballard, Sean Hurley, David Foster (keyboards); Jochem van der Saag (synthesizer, programming); Frank Ricotti (vibraphone, percussion); Nathan East (bass guitar); Anton Fig, Ian Thomas (drums); Kaitlyn Barton (tambourine); Blair Sinta (percussion); Jason Boshoff, Alexis Smith (programming); Anna Ross, Vusi Mahlasela, Susie Suh (background vocals); Tim Pierce (guitar); Marius de Vries (piano, keyboards, programming); Matt Chamberlain, Vinnie Colaiuta (drums); Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
  • Audio Mixers: Humberto Gatica; Imogen Heap; Andy Bradfield; Alejandro Rodriguez .
  • Recording information: Angel Studio; Chartmaker Studios; EMM Studio France; Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA; Paramount Scoring Stage; Paramount Studios, LA; Sony Studios, New York, NY; The Hideaway, London, England; The High window, Hollywood, CA; The Refinery, Johannesberg, South Africa; The Salt Room, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; The Strongroom, London, England; The Studio At The Sunset Marquis; Westlake Audio, Hollywood, CA; Westlake Studios, LA.
  • Editor: William Malina.
  • Photographer: Christian Lantry.
  • Arrangers: Eric Mouquet; Josh Groban; David Foster; Tawgs Salter; William Ross .
  • Expectations for vocalist Josh Groban's third release ran high, especially given the phenomenal success of his sophomore effort, CLOSER, which reached number one on the Billboard charts. Like Andrea Bocelli, Groban treads the line between classical, operatic singing, and crossover pop. AWAKE manages the synthesis beautifully. With its strong batch of songs, and Groban's voice continuing to develop, the album may even best its predecessor.
  • Opener "Mai," sung in Italian, sets the tone for the album. Highly romantic, stirring, and couched in tasteful orchestral arrangements, the song is the perfect canvas for Groban's heart-melting delivery. "February Song," which finds the artist accompanied only by piano, is more reserved and plaintive. Other album highlights include "Machine," with a funky, jazzy backdrop provided by Herbie Hancock, and "Lullaby" and "Weeping," which feature the South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mombazo.
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