Album: True Love and High Adventure
Artist: Grand Drive
Reason Featured: #49 Album for NME’s Top Fifty Albums of 2000
My Favorite Songs: Ladders to the Stars, A Little Numb
Their Grades: NME (8/10)
My Grade: 66%
For an album called True Love and High Adventure, there’s very little to love here and even less that could be considered adventurous. To be fair, I only got a chance to listen to some of what’s on here as Spotify and YouTube could only attest to about two-thirds of the record. I scoured the Internet for the rest but came up dry. Maybe the ones I didn’t get a chance to hear make up for the mediocrity of most of the ones I did.
I can turn to late-‘80s to mid-‘90s Van Morrison for the lilting horn and soft-jazzy inflections brought out by “Sleepy.” The acoustic scutting/jinglebell combination which the title track opens with sent my eyes straight to the back of my head and nothing brought them back through the rest of the song. Even album opener “Wheels” doesn’t get me anywhere, despite its pleasant harmonies. In the interest of positivity, “Ladders to the Stars” is catchy and occasionally moving.
But the only real standout here is “A Little Numb,” the only track which appropriately hints at the grandness of the themes brought up in the album’s title. The fullness of the piano rolls, coupled with Hammond organs and harmonies by way of The Band, may not be the most original combination but it’s at least the most classic-sounding. I’m a sucker for old-school, late-‘60s/early-‘70s rock and roll hymns and this is definitely an admirable homage to that style of songcraft.
True Love and High Adventure is likable enough, even if its far from the musical questing its title suggests. At least one of the songs on here left me feeling more than “A Little Numb” and that’s more than I can say about plenty of records running around these days.
Included below is a compilation record by Grand Drive as it’s the only record of theirs available on Spotify