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GRAND ILLUSION Prince Of Paupers AOR Heaven (2011)

Grand Illusion

Grand Illusion are back with a swift follow-up to 2010's 'Brand New World' and this time they have some big name guests from the AOR world including Tim Pierce, Toto's Steve Lukather, Jay Graydon (from cult AOR band Airplay) plus drummer Greg Bissonette (Dave Lee Roth/ELO).

One thing this band do well is OTT pomp/harmony vocals and the first two songs, 'Gates Of Fire' and 'Better Believe It' have these in abundance with the soaring vocals of Per Svensson and Peter Sundell.

The title track is another tour de force mixing harmonies galore, waves of keyboards and some tasty guitar riffs. The band has a real knack for building songs with layer upon layer of vocals and music - 'On And On' is a fine example of this. 'Winds Of Change' offers something a little different, gentle vocals, strong lyrics and backing music making for a moving listening experience.

Grand Illusion are one consistent band, they never let you down musically and are one of the few bands to really meld successfully pomp rock with AOR - House Of Shakira are the only other band to have achieved this in the past decade or so. Crank it up and enjoy - music that will leave a smile on your face.


Review by Jason Ritchie


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***** 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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