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Variations on the themes

September 22, 2008|Chris Lee

Over his nine years in the spotlight, singer-songwriter Josh Groban has had evocative descriptors attached to his name: "popera" singer, balladeer, multi-platinum-selling international superstar, total cheeseball. But "mash-up artist" wasn't on that list until Sunday night, when Groban ran through an impressive medley of some 27 theme songs from classic TV shows.

More affecting still, he managed to pump a degree of genre authenticity into each tune. Groban's take on "The Jeffersons" was all soaring gospel; he rapped his way through the hip-hop opening of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," sounded authentically lounge lizard-y covering "The Love Boat" and even summoned a little Jamaican mojo to belt out Inner Circle's reggae anthem "Bad Boys," the theme for "Cops." And while it was impressive in range, well, that "cheeseball" title is rising up again.

-- Chris Lee

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