Grand Design – Rawk

Grand Design, the Swedish AOR/melodic rock sensation, is back with its long-awaited 6th album Rawk which will hit the streets on Friday, April 21, 2023. This album is the perfect follow-up to their last album, V (2020). Rawk has that signature Grand Design sound that has made them one of the top artists in the Swedish melodic rock scene. The 11 songs on the album are packed with unforgettable choruses, shredding guitar work, and superb production.

Band Members:

  • Pelle Saethan– Vocals
  • Dennis Vestman– Guitars
  • Dan Svanbom– Guitars
  • Stefan Westerlund– Bass
  • Joakim Jonsson– Drums

April 21, 2023


  1. Tuff It Out
  2. God Bless Rawk ‘N’ Roll
  3. Love Or A Fantasy
  4. Your Luv Is Drivin’ Me Crazy
  5. Desperate Hearts
  6. Dangerous Attraction
  7. We Were Born To Rawk N Roll
  8. Carry On My Wind
  9. Give It All Up For Luv
  10. Get Out
  11. In The H.E.A.T. Of The Nite

There is an 80’s vibe from the start of the guitars. They set the stage for the rhythm to be clapped in. There is a drop out of the guitars for the first verse before they make their way back in. There are harmonized backing vocals layered in, and the whole thing feels like an AOR dream. You can tell from this track that the entire album will be a fun ride down memory lane, even though the songs are all new.

You get anthemic tracks like “God Bless Rawk ‘n’ Roll” that are meant to have the chorus chanted at the top of the audience’s collective lungs. This is arena raw at its finest. Keeping up with the theme of 80’s revelry, “Your Luv Is Driving Me Crazy” is that song about being head over heels for that woman of your dreams. For days, the songs have a catchy chorus, killer rhythms, and hooks.

One of the heavier, bolder songs is “We Were Born To Rawk ‘n’ Roll.” Again, bombastic rhythm over stellar guitar work that is meant to catch the ear and get the body moving. It’s another chantable chorus that will have the crowd bouncing in time to the beat and throwing their horns in the air to the rhythm of the drums.

“Give It All Up For Love” is the requisite Power Ballad. There is raw emotion and desperation in the voice. The melody behind the words is slow and sultry, giving the listener a definite desire to go find the one they love and hug them; let’s just hope the love is mutual!

Wrapping the album up is “In The H.E.A.T. Of The Night,” a darker tune with some eerie guitar work and a “Dream Warrior” style opening. Dokken would be proud of the tone this song draws on. The music is a bit creepy, and I love every bit of that. There is just something about a song that brings to mind forbidden lust that is appealing.

Grand Design brings AOR back in killer fashion, nailing the vibe of that era. There is a distinctly modern sound, but the tone, and the feel, is a throwback. They use tone and tempo to evoke emotion and create a mental picture of the song in your head. You don’t just listen to this band; you visualize the show, picture the crowd, set the stage, everything.

MZ Ratings:

  • Musicianship
    • Guitars – 8
    • Rhythms – 8
    • Vocals – 8
  • Songwriting – 9
  • Production – 8
  • Overall – 8.20