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Grand Drive | True Love and High Adventure (Loose)
The sky is an expanse of blue, the road is yours alone, and Grand Drive will take you where you want to go. Theirs are no small-time concerns, their dreams lie in the wind, the stars and the sun and they have wings. The brothers Wilson have crafted a nine-chaptered epic with True Love and High Adventure, high in apirations, most of which they achieve with an effortless grace and clarity. On Sleepy they take The Jayhawks' Sixteen Down and inject the spirit of Marvin Gaye into the mix. The result is a gloriously arranged, heartbreaking plea. It's an incredibly detailed and rich, warm record that unveils new charms with every listen (that sudden lift four minutes into the title track, the slow build of Nobodys Song In Particular with its jazzy piano flourishes, like David Sancious on Springsteen's equally majestic New York City Serenade). "It's hard when you find that no-one really cares / except for those who really care / regardless of what you do / maybe that's the whole damn truth," sings an impassioned Danny Wilson (check those gospel yelps, again reminiscent of Springsteen's heyday) on A Little Numb at four and a half minutes the album shortest track. My Best Side was debuted over a year ago and has become a genuine classic ballad, with Julian Wilson's hammond Positively strolling down 4th Street. Once again the arrangement is spot-on, the horns particularly effective here. With playing exemplary throughout, the initial disappointment at a lack of another Jukebox or Undone (the drive has most decisively been overshadowed by the grand), soon forgotten amid the abundance of understatement and deft touches that further enhance TLAHA's songs (drummer Paul Wigens, in particular, shines throughout). A brave step at this early stage, but one which Grand Drive have taken with confidence.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #6 - Autumn 2000