Procol Harum's first album for Chrysalis, Grand Hotel, found the band returning to the grandeur of earlier works such as Shine on Brightly and Salty Dog. Robin Trower's replacement Mick Grabham is capable, even powerful, but not nearly as distinctive as his predecessor; consequently, the material tends to rely more on ornate arrangements than guitar riffs, making this somewhat more dignified than either of their previous studio albums, Home and Broken Barricades. Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid step up with strong material, notably the title track, "Toujours L'Amour," and "Fires (Which Burnt Brightly)." While the keyboard and orchestra-based arrangements harken back to earlier triumphs, the lyrics deal less with whaling stories than with social commentary; "A Souvenir of London" is about social diseases, with "T.V. Caesar" about the pervasive influence of television.
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AllMusic Review by James A. Gardner