Dan Croll – Grand Plan
Dan Croll found a major new audience after his first album Sweet Disarray when a remix of its lead single From Nowhere was featured in the videogame Grand Theft Auto V (including its promotional materials), which would go on to become the most financially successful media title of all time. Unluckily for the demographic commenting “I’m here from GTA V” underneath his music videos, Croll’s music doesn’t really sound like that anymore.
However, whilst there’s probably nothing on this album that will please fans who are simply looking for more From Nowhere or Tokyo, diving into his new album with an open mind is a worthwhile endeavour. Grand Plan can be best described as a sadboi gem, a moving soliloquy in which the artist feels like he’s hit a plateau in his life and is uncertain about how to move forward. In the acoustic-driven title track, one of the softer songs, he sings: “Everybody’s got a grand plan but I’ve barely come prepared.” In the following track, Work, his inability to be alone is underlined when he croons about if his partner really has to go to work today, because he’d prefer they stay inside. Later on, the relationship takes a turn for the worse on Cold-Blooded. It’s a messy arc that too many people will find relatable.
Perhaps the least sympathetic song is Rain (“I think I miss the rain”), because British people can’t ever get a consistent summer. But the perspective is that of Croll taking a trip to California, as highlighted by Stay in LA and Actor with a Loaded Gun. The latter showcases some of the strongest songwriting on this record, keenly observing Hollywood with lines such as “This isn’t a party, it’s a social interview” and “Met a girl, she’s a florist and oh-so-modest about her career / But her boyfriend could talk for hours, he’s an ego pioneer.” Throughout the album, the clear influences range from The Beatles to Death Cab for Cutie, but the distinct, sombre perspective of LA is where Grand Plan finds its identity. It may not be the best album of its kind, but at least Croll isn’t grovelling to an industry that would otherwise have demanded more of the same from his breakthrough EP.
Grand Plan is released on 21st August 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Dan Croll’s website here.
Watch the video for Cold-Blooded here: