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GRAND ILLUSION ‘Ordinary Just Won't Do’
Escape Music ESM103(2004)

Fourth album by this band and the first I’ve heard by them. First that hits you is the strength of the vocals - the band have two lead vocalists in Peter Sundell and Per Svensson. Opener ‘Devil’s Advocate’ is very similar to Ken Tamplin’s solo work with multi-layered harmonies and soaring guitar riffs. Grand Illusion also tip their hat to 80’s era Styx and Kansas in the vocal arrangements especially the glorious ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’. But Grand Illusion do have a modern edge as well as demonstrated by ‘New Beginning’, with it’s crunchy guitar and catchy hook filled chorus.

There are also some interesting co-songwriters on here including FM’s Steve Overland and Steve Newman (Newman). Steve Newman co-pens the heaviest track on here ‘Put You Down’. As befits a quality melodic rock release there are ballads and the slow burning ‘And This is Why’ has it all from keyboard intro to a big chorus.

Sadly this style of music will never be trendy again like the 80’s heyday but full credit to Grand Illusion for stinking to what they know and love playing. Certainly worth adding to your CD collection!


Review by Jason Ritchie

Label website

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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