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October 2021
Album review

grandson – Death Of An Optimist

A ringleader to its own madcap circus.
Label: Fueled By Ramen
Released: 4th December 2020
Rating: ★★★★★
grandson – Death Of An Optimist
Published: 2:20 pm, January 14, 2021Words: Stephen Ackroyd.

According to Jordan Benjamin, grandson’s debut album is a juxtaposition. Both an “origin story” and an “obituary” in the same moment, it’s that two-sides-of-a-coin aesthetic that dominates ‘Death of an Optimist’ at all times. 

A record that manages to bring light to the shadows or find lyrical shade within the brightest optimism, it can be brash, swaggering pop at one moment (like on the groove-ridden radio-friendly ‘Dirty’) then angry and direct the next (‘Identity’). 

Crucially, though, it’s never boring. Instead, it’s a ringleader to its own madcap circus; an internal dialogue that runs at a hundred miles an hour but talks impeccable sense. Never standing still long enough to stop the world around it spinning, it’s rock music - but not as we know it.

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