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Grand Romantic

Grand Romantic

by Nate RuessNate Ruess


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If there's one thing that's clear about Nate Ruess based on his debut solo album, 2015's Grand Romantic, it's that he's in love, and he wants you to know all about it. Purportedly inspired by his relationship with designer Charlotte Ronson (sister of DJs Samantha and Mark), Grand Romantic is a fittingly grandiose, occasionally silly, passionately effusive, and ultimately very catchy album. As the lead singer of Fun., Ruess has built a fan base with songs that manage to combine the bombastic pomp of '80s arena rock, the sample aesthetic of hip-hop, and the earnestness of emo, adult contemporary, and singer/songwriter pop. Grand Romantic is no different, and often sounds like something along the lines of a Kanye West-meets-Beach Boys-themed Glee episode. Working with producers Jeff Bhasker (West, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys) and Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey, Kid Cudi), Ruess has crafted a concept album of sorts revolving around the glory of love -- or at least, the glory of falling in love again after having your heart broken. Think of it as an antidote to the melancholy break-up anthems of contemporaries like Adele and Sam Smith. Musically, cuts like the melodic "What This World is Coming To" (a duet with Beck), and the sparklingly exuberant "Harshlight," bring to mind the dynamic '80s nerd rock of bands like REO Speedwagon and ELO. Elsewhere, tracks like the yearning "Moment" and the dramatic title track, with their piano and orchestral flourishes, are so ornately celebratory, they're more akin to a Muppet Movie version of Elton John. Which isn't a bad thing. Vocally, even when he sounds on the verge of tears, as on "It Gets Much Worse," Ruess always commands your attention. Especially on the final track "Brightside," with Ruess cooing a high-pitched baby talk refrain of "Looka'chooo! Looka'chooo!" against a banner of harmonized "la la la's," Grand Romantic is the sound of a guy who is desperately, and yes, often embarrassingly in love. So much so, that the album will probably either leave you reeling with joy from the intensity of Ruess' romantic fervor, or somewhat queasy from the off-gassing. Either way, it's almost impossible not to get caught up in his majestic pop swoon. As he sings on "Harshlight," "Nothing here is bringing me down."

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Product Details

Release Date: 06/16/2015
Label: Fueled By Ramen
UPC: 0075678669750
catalogNumber: 549145
Rank: 123393


  1. Grand Romantic (Intro)
  2. AhHa
  3. Nothing Without Love
  4. Take It Back
  5. You Light My Fire
  6. What This World Is Coming To
  7. Great Big Storm
  8. Moment
  9. It Only Gets Much Worse
  10. Grand Romantic
  11. Brightside
  12. [Untitled]

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nate Ruess   Primary Artist,Vocals
Walt Harrah   Choir, Chorus
Beck   Guitar,Vocals
Monique Donnelly   Choir, Chorus
James Gadson   Drums
Jeff Gunn   Choir, Chorus
Clydene Jackson   Choir, Chorus
Rebecca Jones   Viola
Andy Martin   Trombone
Charlie Morillas   Trombone
Bobbi Page   Choir, Chorus
Jeff Tweedy   Guitar
Elin Carlson   Choir, Chorus
Patrick Kiernan   Violin
Amber King   Background Vocals
Greg Whipple   Choir, Chorus
Edie Lehmann Boddicker   Choir, Chorus
Jason Goodman   Percussion
Caroline Campbell   Violin
Catherine Coleman   Background Vocals
Reid Bruton   Choir, Chorus
Josh Klinghoffer   Guitar
David Stewart   Trombone
Amy Fogerson   Choir, Chorus
Stephanie O'Keefe   Horn
Alyssa Park   Violin
Darius Brown   Background Vocals
Steve Aho   Conductor
Patrick Keeler   Drums
Danielle Ondarza   Horn
Jenny Sacha   Violin
Jeff Bhasker   Guitar,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer
Gerald White   Choir, Chorus
Chaz Mason   Choir, Chorus
Fletcher Sheridan   Choir, Chorus
Radu Pieptea   Violin
Daniel Rosenboom   Trumpet,Piccolo
Serena McKinney   Violin
Ellie Stanford   Violin
Kathleen Sloan   Violin
Garik Terzian   Cello
Ryan Lallier   Acoustic Guitar
Alison Bjorkedal   Percussion,Harp,Brass
Robert Brophy   Viola
Kate Moore   Trumpet
Rosie Danvers   Cello
Lykke Li   Background Vocals
Ina Veli   Violin
Emile Haynie   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Leon Enrique Bosch   Double Bass
Sarah Sexton   Violin
Michael Lichtenauer   Choir, Chorus
Alisha Bauer   Cello
Vanessa Freebairn-Smith   Cello
Ayana Haviv   Choir, Chorus
Elissa Johnston   Choir, Chorus
Eleanor Mathieson   Violin
Phillip Eastop   French Horn
Karen Whipple Schnurr   Choir, Chorus
Jane Oliver   Cello
Sally Jackson   Violin
Teri Eiko Koide   Choir, Chorus
Hayley Pomfrett   Violin
Gabriel Johnson   Trumpet
Nozomi Cohen   Viola
Anna Croad   Violin
Mario Jose   Choir, Chorus
Baraka May Williams   Choir, Chorus
Will Noon   Drums
Nate Harold   Bass
Allie Feder   Choir, Chorus
Will Goldman   Choir, Chorus
Arnold Livingston Geis   Choir, Chorus
Andrew Sarlo   Bass,Background Vocals
Rick Logan   Choir, Chorus
Steve Hughes   Bass Trombone
Matthew Larry   Background Vocals
Lakreshia Edwards   Background Vocals
Gina Correll Aglietti   Background Vocals
Emily Moore   Background Vocals
Charlotte Ronson   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Nathaniel Kunkel   Engineer
Tom Schick   Guitar Engineer
Kent Bruce   Vocal Engineer
e.e. cummings   Composer,Poetry
Roger Manning   Composer,Orchestral Arrangements
Edie Lehmann Boddicker   Choir Arrangement
Darrell Thorp   Engineer
John Janick   Executive Producer
John Hanes   Engineer
Josh Klinghoffer   Composer
Nate Ruess   Composer
Sam Means   Art Direction
Pawel Sek   Engineer
Jeff Bhasker   Composer,Programming,Producer,Orchestral Arrangements
Andrew Dost   Composer
Rosie Danvers   Orchestration
Emile Haynie   Composer,Programming,Producer
Greg Morgenstein   Engineer
Robbie Nelson   Engineer
Beck Hansen   Composer
Tommy D.   Orchestra Production
Andrew Sarlo   Engineer
Chris Warren   Guitar Engineer
Jeff Hansen   Composer
Teresa Oaxaca   Paintings
Sloane Crosley   Composer

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