A year after the release of “Brand New World”, it’s time for the 6th Grand Illusion studio album and which this time is titled, Prince of Paupers.
On this release, the Grand Illusion core trio consists of Anders Rydholm, Peter Sundell and Per Svensson who are joined by Steve Lukather (Toto), Jay Graydon (Airplay), Tim Pierce (Rick Springfield), Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth), Paul Buckmaster (Elton John & David Bowie), Muris Varajic, Kjell Klaesson and Staffan Stavert to form a potent mix
With all that talent involved, my expectations where running high, how can this not fail to hit the spot.
Im not disappointed, and neither will you be.
This is very much sitting on the west coast AOR map, with loads of multilayered keyboards, glorious harmonies, and neck bending guitar solo’s from Mr Lukather.
When you listen to the album, the special guests are just that, special, brought in to weave their own type of magic, while never straying far from the Grand Design sound, as once again they supremely combine heaviness and melody to bring out an outstanding melodic rock record.
The album opens with “Gates of fire”, a fantastic AOR/melodic rock track, and to be honest, the rest of the tracks are just as good, thoughtful ballads, and intricately woven rock songs make this release stand head and shoulders above the rest.
“Believe in miracles” for instance is a great ballad, while “On and On” is a guitar driven melodic rock anthem that has greatness written all over it.
This is a quality AOR record, that deserves a wider audience, and to be honest, its doesn’t get much better than this. I know I will be playing this cd for a long time to come.
Highly recommended 9/10
Peter Sundell – Vocals
Per Svensson – Vocals
Anders Rydholm – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
01. Gates Of Fire
02. Better Believe It
03. Prince Of Paupers
04. So Faraway
05. St Teresas Love
06. Through This War
07. Eyes Of Ice
09. Believe In Miracles
10. On And On
11. Under The Wire
12. Winds Of Change