Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Want an Angel: On Josh Groban

I heard the other day that Josh Groban’s new Christmas CD “Noel” has been at the top of the charts since its’s gone double platinum. First of all, let me say I think it’s extremely cool that a Christmas CD is a #1 seller. And it’s really sweet and wonderful that the particular album is Josh’s.

The young man truly seems to me like a Christmas angel incarnate.

I first encountered Josh when he was 20 and played a high school kid on “Ally McBeal.” He was adorable even before he opened his mouth to sing...and the voice completely blew me away, partly for personal reasons. You see, I went to high school with a guy whose voice was incredibly similar, and he was cute too. I think the only reason I never had a crush on Glenn Siebert is that I knew it was too hopeless to bother with. (He grew up to become a professional music professor and opera singer, and still sounds sublime.) So here was this young reincarnation of Glenn Siebert, Josh Groban, with those tousled curls and dark brown eyes...and such a sweet and gentle persona. I don’t care if I’m old enough to be his mother--I’m only flesh and blood.

And besides, I’ve never actually lusted for this boy. It’s too delightful to adore him chastely, to simply bask in his gifts. You can close your eyes and forget all the ambiguity and imperfection of real life, and let this voice fill your soul, this voice that is so absolutely flawless.

Angels, they say, are perfect.

You could certainly do worse than Josh Groban if looking for a Christmas angel. He is a Christian, and very supportive of all manner of great charities, both with his singing and his pocketbook. In a world of celebrity scandals, you won’t be seeing him in some compromising photo in the tabloids soon.

I appreciate that. I really do. I know no human is perfect, but a man with such a lovely face and such a heavenly voice--well, one really does want to pretend he is perfect. It’s very kind of Josh to keep that in mind in his daily lifestyle.

Now, while I don’t purport to make Josh an object of lust, neither do I deny that beauty and perfection are erotic, in a certain way. In fact, when the mind and soul long for perfect beauty, they bring the body along; that is, the pleasure and satisfaction of beholding such loveliness are physical sensations as much as emotional ones. This kind of passion may be more akin to religious fervor than sexual desire, but it is still an intense form of love.

Angels, they say, are pure spirit.

And as such, they of course do not traffic in the physical, including intercourse. Sex is irrelevant to angels, and yet I would suppose they experience passion as profound as any we sexual beings feel. I wonder then if in their discourse with each other and God, their experience is perhaps a little bit like what I feel when I listen to Josh Groban.

And if that’s true, it’s no wonder so many of us have bought the CD. It’s Christmastime, and we want an angel.

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