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Grand Illusion - 2001 The Book Of How To Make It

ARTIST: Grand Illusion
ALBUM: The Book Of How To Make It
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2001


LINEUP: Anders Rydholm - bass, guitars, keyboards * Peter Sundell - vocals * Per Svensson - vocals * Christian Sundell - drums * Ola Karlsson - guitars

Guests: Stefan Leoson, Robert Vadadi, Per Thuresson - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Feeling Strangely Fine * 02 I Don't Wanna Know * 03 Boys Last Night Out * 04 Accidentally On Purpose * 05 The Book Of How To Make It * 06 Whatever * 07 105 (And Running) * 08 Parachute * 09 Don't Wait Up * 10 Crazy From The Heat * 11 Death Of Me


The Swedish band previously known as Promotion have changed their leopard spots somewhat on this breakthrough album for UK label Escape Music. Better known as a West Coast/AOR oriented outfit, the change of direction was sought once label boss Khalil Turk caught wind of their musical prowess. Yes, a few things were in need of a change.. the musical style for starters, and the band name. Hence a heavier melodic rock approach, plus the handle Grand Illusion. Looking back it was a pity these guys didn't change horses earlier, as this is stunning stuff. I'm not sure whether a band in this new millennium has quite grasped the nuances of melodic rock the way these guys have.. OTT vocals topped by rich orchestration, and attention to detail on the production isde of things. The catalyst behind it all is Anders Rydholm, though stunt guitar antics are left to a trio of guest players.. Leoson, Vadadi, and Thuresson.

The Songs
Kicking off with 'Feeling Strangely Fine'.. this one breezes along at a good clip, melodic as hell and already on repeat play. Damn I hate that.. especially since it's only Track 01 and I've got more to listen to! Moving along even faster is 'I Don't Wanna Know'.. brisk being the operative word, and those harmony vocals rule. The stop/start affair of 'Boys Last Night Out' is a rich grinding guitar anthem, followed by the albums piece de resistance 'Accidentally On Purpose'. The title might be a bit of a mouthful (thanks Ola!), but the song is magic. Refrains and hooks everywhere! '105 (and Running)' is more in keeping with their West Coast roots, and has a sound Tommy Denander and his Radioactive cohorts would do well to check out. I'm sure this would have done wonders on L.A Radio during 1982! 'Parachute' opens up with a nice acoustic interlude, as we land in a sea of melody that provides for a comfortable landing.. to these ears at least. The hard charging 'Crazy From The Heat' exemplifies the Grand Illusion style.. masses of harmony vocals wrapped around melodic guitars and keyboards. Excellent stuff.

In Summary
If the band were using this album as a means of finding their feet with this change of direction, then they really hit home the following year, with the excellent 'View From The Top' - signalling the arrival of a class melodic rock act. Without doubt, one of the stars of the Escape Music roster, and one feels they've got another collections worth of songs that are going to be (quite literally) part of the most eagerly awaited album for 2004. Can't wait!!

Related Articles
Grand Illusion - 2001 The Book Of How To Make It
Grand Illusion - 2002 View From The Top
Grand Illusion - 2002 Interview: Anders Rydholm
Grand Illusion - 2004 Ordinary Just Won't Do
Grand Illusion - 2010 Brand New World
Grand Illusion - 2011 Prince Of Paupers

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