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Grand Design - V

Grand Design
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 March 2020, 2:46 AM

GRAND DESIGN is an AOR band based out of Sweden, formed in 2006. The band have released four albums, and underwent a significant line-up change in 2013. Now, they are back with their fifth, aptly titled “V.” The album contains eleven tracks. “Right Away” leads off the album, with harmonized vocals and a big guitar sound. The chorus is rich and full, but this isn’t necessarily something you haven’t heard before. “I Won’t Cry” is a mid-tempo song full with emotions. The harmonized vocals in the chorus give it a nice touch, but the main riff is a bit dark. “Strandead (Trapped in a Heartbreak Zone)” opens with clean guitars and emotive, melancholy vocals. Again, the riffs are predictable though the vocals provide a full sound, a-la DEF LEPPARD.

“Wut are U Waiting for” is another mid-tempo number with a little more melody from the lead guitar notes. It could be considered a “power ballad” of sorts. The guitar solo is nicely done but it could have had just a little more pyrotechnics. “Shame on U” has a fairly trite riff and predictable sound. The band plays very well together but the song represents everything that is wrong with the album. You’ve heard it all before. “Walkin the Wire” has a heavier edge but the album is beginning to fall into the “mid-tempo” blues (where each track has that similar mid-tempo edge). “Gimme the Fire” is just a bit quicker and I like the use of the guitars in the beginning. But when the main riff comes in, it is once again predictable.

“Take me to Yer Heaven” has a little more originality to it. I really like this song. The harmonies are strong and fit neatly into the composition. “I Dunno Wut to Say” is yet another mid-tempo song stuck in that pace. The harmonies are put together nicely but they lack that memorability. “The Warrior” is indeed a Pat Benatar cover song. Their version is pretty nice, and that chorus hits hard, as the other songs should have. “Guilty of Love in the 1st Degree” is not a BANANARAMA cover, though it isn’t very memorable either. What the album needs is originality. The band are fine musicians but too many mid-tempo songs weighed it down, and the song titles are trite. Perhaps it is a translation issue, but spelling phonetically doesn’t work well for me. All in all, the album was fairly forgettable.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 3
Production: 8


2 Star Rating

1. Right Away
2. I Won’t Cry
3. Strandead (Trapped in a Heartbreak Zone)
4. Wut are U Waiting for
5. Shame on U
6. Walkin the Wire
7. Gimmie the Fire
8. Take me to Yer Heaven
9. I Dunno Wut to Say
10. The Warrior
11. Guilty of Love in the 1st Degree
Pelle – Vocals
Danne – Guitars
Dennis – Guitars
Stefan – Bass
Jocke – Drums
Record Label: GMR Music Group


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Edited 07 February 2023

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