Sound — 9
Several months ago I borrowed a bunch of CDs from my brother. Right before I left he threw in an extra one. It was an interesting looking CD with a black and white design. The band was Cool For August, but I'd never heard of them. He told me he saw them on tour with Matchbox Twenty several years ago and he got their CD. After listening to the first couple songs I was thoroughly hooked. I even went out and bought my own copy. They blend piano, acoustic guitar, and clean electric guitar to create a very strong and passionate sound. Distortion is used sparingly and shows they're not afraid to show their skill instead of hiding behind noise. Some might classify their sound as mainstream, but there is something about COA that could've set them apart from all the rest.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics of Grand World are very difficult to describe. They aren't the most difficult lyrics to understand, but there is a mysticism about them that draws you into the song. Whether it's "The righteous become the silenced. The fallen ones, they'll never find that road that's fallen them." in Sylmar, or "No one dreams in the hours around me. The more I lose, the more you find me." of Big Night. Every song has more meaning than they appear to have at face value. The lyrics can be pretty hard to decipher at times, but that makes it all the more rewarding to learn them.
Overall Impression — 9
After falling in love with Grand World, I started to do research on them. They managed to spawn a couple singles and even made a tv debut on Conan O'Brien. To my dismay I discovered that they split up in 2001 due to a lack of support from their record company. They were in the middle of writing their second album, but it ended up being scrapped. That left Grand World as their "One-Hit-Wonder". It seems so cruel considering how amazing the album really is. All the songs are memorable, although Sylmar, Big Night, Walk Away, Hey You and Denial are the definite standouts. Hey You is their masterpiece song in my opinion. The album artwork is also very interesting and it seems like there would be a story as to why it was chosen. Overall, Grand World is a solid album that's full of honesty. Cool For August put a lot of heart into their music and their future was bright. It's a shame that it had to be cut so short.