Grand Avenue
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Grand Avenue


Band Rock


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"Grand Avenue" (2003), "She" (2005), "The Outside" (2007), "Place To Fall" (2009)




Discipline and getting to work on time.

Think office chairs and starched shirts—and not the life of a slacking rock musician, if we are to paint a picture against stereotype.

For Grand Avenue the mantra, “see you no later than 10 in the morning” was an absolute necessity for several months, a must for bringing to life the group’s third album, The Outside. There’s no other way to do it when you sternly insist on being a do-it-yourself band with international ambitions.

Luckily, the four old friends can loosen the psychological ties around their necks and—along with the rest of us—sit back and enjoy the fruit of their toils as its sung and played during the course of 45 dazzling minutes.

It’s three-quarters of an hour that reveal a Grand Avenue with a much more electric-driven sound than the predecessors: the eponymous debut from 2003 and She from 2005. Keyboards replace the hand-played strings and more charge flows in the electric guitar, used much more on The Outside than it’s acoustic “twin brother” in the song-writing process.

Though it should be remembered that these four songwriters created the previous album’s solid radio hits—“Happy With A Secret,” “After The Rain” and “What’s On Your Mind”—and generated two Danish Music Awards nominations for the band.

In the bin ... Next?

Despite the decision to pursue more of a rock sound, The Outside still retains clear links to earlier work by the nearly six-year-old band.

Rasmus Walter Hansen’s voice still has its signature longing, now blended with hope. To be sure, the vocals are at the core of the powerful melodies that embrace hope, dreams and love, even when it’s cursed.

Just give “You Please Me” a listen. It’s a song that has a unifying effect, and in addition to its compelling qualities, it has special meaning for the band. As the “first born” from The Outside, it became the qualitative benchmark for the album. Any material that didn’t live up to its merits were tossed in the bin.

That leaves the 11 chosen ones—progressing from the thrust of the opener, “Give Myself Away,” to the potent rush of the title song, the guitar bursts on “Anything That’s You,” and finally the intoxicating closer “Winter’s Passing By.”

And there’s the band behind it all: Vocalist Rasmus Walter Hansen, guitarist Niels-Kristian Bærentzen, Marc Stebbing on bass, and drummer Hjalte Thygesen. Four music lovers who, since the day they met at London Music College, have been both band mates and just plain mates.

The boys are a four-leaf clover that seemed to grow five, six, maybe many more leaves during the process of recording the album at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen and London’s Metropolis Studios.

Ireland’s Richard Rainey is the producer, a man who can write “Grammy winner” on his CV because of his recording work on U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

As on the previous two albums, Rasmus’ brother Anders Walter Hansen delivered the cover art and first video, matching image to theme.