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Grand Romantic is the debut studio album of Nate Ruess, lead vocalist from The Format and Fun. It was released on June 16, 2015, by Fueled by Ramen. The album was produced by Some Nights producer Jeff Bhasker. Following the hiatus of Fun, Ruess announced that he would be working on material for a solo project.[4]

Grand Romantic
A man surrounded by a skull, mask, and roses while holding a bunch of different colored balloons.
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 16, 2015 (2015-06-16)
LabelFueled by Ramen
ProducerJeff Bhasker
Singles from Grand Romantic
  1. "Nothing Without Love"
    Released: February 23, 2015
  2. "AhHa"
    Released: April 26, 2015
  3. "Great Big Storm"
    Released: May 11, 2015
  4. "What This World Is Coming To"
    Released: June 1, 2015
  5. "Take It Back"
    Released: January 12, 2016

The album received a generally positive reception but critics said that it was overly theatrical in terms of production, lyricism and vocal delivery. Grand Romantic debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200 and spawned four singles: "Nothing Without Love", "AhHa", "Great Big Storm" and "What This World Is Coming To".



On June 10, the album was made available for streaming on the MTV website.[5] Later the same day, the "AhHa" visualizer video was released.[6]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [9]
Alternative Press     [10]
The A.V. ClubC[1]
New York Daily News     [11]
PopMatters          [12]     [2]
Rolling Stone     [13]

Grand Romantic received positive reviews but music critics were divided over Ruess' musical vision in terms of production, lyrics and performance. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 61, based on 10 reviews.[7]

Awarding the album four of five stars, Jack Appleby of Alternative Press wrote that "Grand Romantic is proof-positive more Nate Ruess is always a good thing."[10] Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone was positive towards the album's theatrical production and upbeat optimism, saying that, "Fun. co-producers Jeff Bhasker and Emile Haynie help Ruess create richly orchestrated bombast with the right amount of sonic wanderlust."[13] Matt Collar of AllMusic praised the collaboration of Ruess, Bhasker and Haynie for creating a project that embraces the concept of love, calling it "a fittingly grandiose, occasionally silly, passionately effusive, and ultimately very catchy album."[9]

Annie Zaleski of The A.V. Club saw potential in the album's themes but said that it was brought down by subdued production and lyrical content with neither depth or conflict in its romantic tales, concluding that "Grand Romantic often feels so preoccupied with grandiose gestures that it loses sight of the little details that in the past have made Ruess’ music so memorable."[1] Alfred Soto of Spin criticized Ruess for his inability to tone down his singing style or deliver songs that stood out on the album.[14] Jim Farber of the New York Daily News compared the album negatively to Adam Lambert's The Original High saying that while both are musically similar, Lambert's voice performs campy theatrics better than Ruess' unsubtle delivery, saying that "[T]here's no roundness, or richness, to his tone. It's all hard angles, offering no cushion for the screech."[11]


Alongside the release of this album, The Grand Romantic, a 28 minute short film starring Nate Ruess was also released. It features a number of songs from this album.

Track listingEdit

Standard edition[15]
1."Grand Romantic (intro)" 0:43
3."Nothing Without Love"
  • Bhasker
  • Haynie
  • Klinghoffer
  • Ruess
4."Take It Back"
  • Bhasker
  • Haynie
  • Ruess
5."You Light My Fire"
  • Bhasker
  • Haynie
  • Ruess
6."What This World Is Coming To" (featuring Beck)
7."Great Big Storm"
  • Bhasker
  • Haynie
  • Ruess
  • Bhasker
  • Haynie
  • Ruess
9."It Only Gets Much Worse"4:18
10."Grand Romantic"Roger Manning3:36
11."Harsh Light"
  • Bhasker
  • Haynie
  • Manning
  • Ruess

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (2015) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[16] 61
Italian Albums (FIMI)[17] 94
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 56
US Billboard 200[19] 7


Adapted from the Grand Romantic liner notes.[20]

  • Executive Producer: John Janick
  • Management: Dalton Sim & Team (Nettwerk Boston)
  • Legal: Brian McPherson
  • Booking: Matt Galle (Paradigm Agency)
  • Tour Manager: Jason Hecht
  • On Tour: Gordon Reddy, Dave Rupsch, Paul Forgues
  • Art Direction: Sam Means
  • Painting, Sketching and Photography: Teresa Oaxaca


  1. ^ a b c Zaleski, Anne (June 16, 2015). "Nate Ruess' grand gestures fall flat on solo debut". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Ep, Nick (June 25, 2015). "Nate Ruess - Grand Romantic". Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Gordon, Jeremy (June 23, 2015). "Nate Ruess: Grand Romantic". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  4. ^ Montgomery, James (February 6, 2015). "Nate Ruess on Going Solo and the Future of fun". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  5. ^ "Nate Ruess". MTV. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  6. ^ Brian Anthony Hernandez (June 10, 2015). "Fun's frontman Nate Ruess drops wild video for emotional monster 'AhHa'". Mashable. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Reviews for Grand Romantic by Nate Ruess". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  8. ^ Ismaili, Craig (June 17, 2015). "Nate Ruess - Grand Romantic". AbsolutePunk. Archived from the original on June 19, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Collar, Matt. "Grand Romantic - Nate Ruess". AllMusic. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Appleby, Jack (June 1, 2015). "Nate Ruess – Grand Romantic". Alternative Press. p. 100. ISSN 1065-1667. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Farber, Jim (June 16, 2015). "Adam Lambert's 'The Original High' and Nate Ruess' 'Grand Romantic' album reviews: The good and bad of superloud singers". New York Daily News. Mortimer Zuckerman. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  12. ^ Galvin, Annie (August 6, 2015). "Nate Ruess: Grand Romantic". PopMatters. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Dolan, Jon (June 16, 2015). "Nate Ruess - Grand Romantic". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Soto, Alfred (June 17, 2015). "Review: Nate Ruess Only Gets Much Worse on 'Grand Romantic'". Spin. SpinMedia. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  15. ^ "iTunes - Music - Grand Romantic by Nate Ruess". iTunes (US). Apple. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  16. ^ " – Nate Ruess – Grand Romantic". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  17. ^ " – Nate Ruess – Grand Romantic". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  18. ^ " – Nate Ruess – Grand Romantic". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  19. ^ "Nate Ruess Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  20. ^ Grand Romantic (booklet). Nate Ruess. Fueled by Ramen. 2015. 2-550630.CS1 maint: others (link)

External linksEdit