The Swedes have gone and done it again. They have taken a rock genre that has been tested until destruction and shown us how it is done. Grand Illusion is a Swedish outfit and with 'Prince Of Paupers', they have produced one of the best AOR albums of the year.
The music is top drawer and the musicianship is classy, which is only to be expected because the line-up of guests is an AOR fan's dream: includes Steve Lukather, Tim Pearce and Greg Bissonette, to name just three.
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'Prince Of Paupers' is the sort of uplifting arena rock that stalked the planet in the eighties. If you are partial to the likes of Journey and Styx and high-class pomp in general, this is going to knock you out.
Killer tracks? The orchestrated 'Gates Of Fire', 'Through This War', 'On And On' and 'Prince Of Paupers' are prime examples of the high-on-life feel to this album but, to be honest, there is not a duff track anywhere on here. Thankfully, crystal clear production allows the music a chunky edge, and even the ballads avoid becoming candy floss fluff.
I'm not going to waffle. Don't waste time dithering. Just get 'Prince Of Paupers'. Your death decks will be eternally grateful.