True Love And High Adventure

... for the most part structured around acoustic guitar and piano...

This, the follow-up to last year's debut, 'Road Music', sees Grand Drive move into psychedelic territory, becoming more ambitious in their songwriting and, fortunately for us, remembering how to write the sugar-coated love songs which made their debut so compelling.

Like Grandaddy's 'The Sophtware Slump' or The Flaming Lips' 'The Soft Bulletin', 'True Love And High Adventure' has seemingly appeared out of nowhere overflowing with musical twists and adventure while still maintaining an earthly edge. But whereas those former records are lush with strings and keyboards, 'True Love...' is for the most part structured around acoustic guitar and piano. The vocal pairing of brothers Julian and Danny Wilson give a weathered harmonic with which it's easy to associate and empathise.

Each and every one of the nine songs here are overflowing with tenderness and persuasive hooks. 'A Little Numb' is a barren, desolate song about rejection, while 'Sleepy' is a lullaby love song, the author hoping and pleading, "Am I in your dreams?". It's heartbreaking stuff.

In short, 'True Love...' is what Mercury Rev would sound like had they lived in south London for the last decade.
8 / 10

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