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Illuminations Inner-Monologue

ellbells's picture
on November 28, 2010 - 7:36pm

So I kicked off my Josh Week (as I affectionately like to refer to it) with a trip to Connecticut to see Josh’s Before We Begin show in New Haven. I took my best friend, who is well aware of my Josh-fandom, but is not so well versed in Josh’s music or showmanship (her knowledge stops with “You Raise Me Up). I warned her before we went that, as crazy as I am, I would only be on the moderate end of the spectrum. She laughed.
She was not laughing afterwards. While she enjoyed her Josh initiation – she said Josh was hilarious and she wanted to get some of his albums (I’d like it to be on record that I in no way threatened her or forced her to say that) – I don’t think she was quite prepared for the Grobanites. (Don’t worry; I have her in training, and she will be converted soon.) I, too, enjoyed the show. I previously saw Josh on the Awake Tour and in Chess, but I can safely say this was far and away the best experience. The relaxed setting and interaction were to die for (and the singing wasn’t too shabby either).
But moving on. I returned home to New Hampshire on Sunday hoping to find any or all of my three hard copies of Illuminations. No such luck (it was early after all), but not to worry, my digital download would be ready at midnight (sweet!). So I stayed up, listening to the FOJG pre-release live stream (which, I will say, I was addicted to over the weekend; so much so that I even carried my laptop around like an iPod… awkward), watching Josh’s vlog (yay!), and iChatting with a fellow Grobie. When November 15th officially rolled around, I immediately downloaded the entire album, all 3 bonus tracks, and loaded them to my iPod – which I have had surgically attached to my hand ever since (much lighter than my laptop, btw).
I crawled into bed and listened to the album in its entirety before allowing myself to float off to dreamland. There’s definitely something about listening to music (especially Josh music) curled up in bed in the dark. Every melody and note seems to be intensified, and the music can touch you on a new level (sometimes it helps when your brain has checked-out for the evening too). I had to use all my self-control not to hit repeat, otherwise I’d have stayed up all night listening and memorizing my favorite notes, key changes, and lyrics (I have since done this, so please see me after class for a proper list).
But allow me to digress for a moment. I’d like to thank Josh and Rick for the creative and haunting heartbeat sounds at the beginning of “Straight To You.” The first time I heard the song (I’ll remind you I was alone in the dark), I completely got the crap scared out of me. I just heard this steady pounding and was sure someone was creeping around my house. Yes, I can scare myself over nothing, but thanks, Josh, for the few minutes you have shaved off my life. But despite this introduction, "Straight To You" is one of my favorite tracks on the album.
Anyhoo, Monday dawned, and I planted myself in front of the window to watch for the mail. Now, typically, I don’t work Mondays, but that particular week, my boss asked if I’d like to come in for some extra hours. How do you diplomatically tell your boss that you can’t come in because you have to wait for your Josh Groban CD/DVD to arrive in the mail? I mean, it was Josh Day! She couldn’t possibly expect me to concentrate on work on Josh Day! Seriously.
So needless to say, I did not go into work, but instead enjoyed Josh’s performances on GMA and Ellen (I even got up early to watch. I sacrificed sleep for you, Josh! I know of no greater gift). Then the mail arrived. I was slightly concerned my special edition wouldn’t be there (heaven forbid!), but thankfully, it was. I would have hated to run after my mailman demanding Josh. Not a pretty picture.
After completing my embarrassing run out to the mailbox and back (probably should have waited for the mailman to drive further away…), I slammed my DVD into the player and waited for the magic of the “Making Of” feature. Josh, of course, did not disappoint. He is forever hilarious, and it’s always so interesting to hear the inspiration and work behind each track. I often gain a greater appreciation for the songs after hearing Josh talk about them. A perfect example is “Galileo.” I liked the song well enough, but after Josh explained it at the Before We Begin show, it has become a favorite. A love song for over-thinkers? Hello life story. Yes please.
But I could continue to ramble on and on about this album (really, I could. Have you met my chatty inner-monologue?), but I will spare you all. The moral of the story is I have been listening to Illuminations on a loop since the moment it was released and don’t see any signs of stopping. It’s an eternal favorite, and Josh should be very proud (oh, and any negative reviewers can bite me).

Peace, love, and Gap.

(please enjoy some photos from New Haven below)

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