15 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

With Grandaddy and on his own, Jason Lytle turns out colorful pop songs, rich with ideas and grand atmospheres no matter what the recording budget. Acoustic guitars and walls of synths turn elegant little songs into enormous widescreen passion plays. It's part Phil Spector, part Abbey Road, part ELO coming together from an unassuming dude who never looks up from the harmonies to see if anyone else is listening. The songs contain their own inner logic and if you can't quite penetrate the sound to hear the lyrics or to understand the ones that make it past the wall, it's no matter. The songs are meant to work as one, as aural beauty, with their peculiar gorgeousness making things right. The title track, "Matterhorn" and "Young Saints" begin the onslaught that is thrown into relief by the relatively stripped-down folk of "Hangtown." Arguably best is the aggressively rocking "Your Final Setting Sun" where Lytle stares down a man in the throes of death. The Deluxe Edition includes four bonus tracks, including an acoustic version of "Your Final Setting Sun."

EDITORS’ NOTES

With Grandaddy and on his own, Jason Lytle turns out colorful pop songs, rich with ideas and grand atmospheres no matter what the recording budget. Acoustic guitars and walls of synths turn elegant little songs into enormous widescreen passion plays. It's part Phil Spector, part Abbey Road, part ELO coming together from an unassuming dude who never looks up from the harmonies to see if anyone else is listening. The songs contain their own inner logic and if you can't quite penetrate the sound to hear the lyrics or to understand the ones that make it past the wall, it's no matter. The songs are meant to work as one, as aural beauty, with their peculiar gorgeousness making things right. The title track, "Matterhorn" and "Young Saints" begin the onslaught that is thrown into relief by the relatively stripped-down folk of "Hangtown." Arguably best is the aggressively rocking "Your Final Setting Sun" where Lytle stares down a man in the throes of death. The Deluxe Edition includes four bonus tracks, including an acoustic version of "Your Final Setting Sun."

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

34 Ratings

A Flawless Entry

Niko botchi,

Being a fan of The Beatles growing up it was always very obvious to me that none of the members solo records (as good as some of them were) were ever as good as the sum of their production together. Grandaddy is and always will be one of my favorite bands, right up there with The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Their music on every release, including the final 2 albums which were basically Lytle solo records for the most part was brilliant. I have no doubt that generations to come will discover the brilliance of that band and I am honored to have been cognitive of it when it was going on. Even though Jason was always the driving force the official debut solo record left me longing for something that was always there on those Grandaddy releases. Don't get me wrong. I love "yours truly, the commuter" and some of the songs on that record rank up there with some of Grandaddy's best, but it felt like Jason wasn't fully committing or was making a record that was "safe", rather than making one that poured out naturally regardless what anyones expectations. "Dept. Of Disappearance" feels that it kicks off where "Sumday" ended. It is the natural progression of an artist that has no choice but to paint these sonic portraits that are rare in today's music anymore. Every tune on the album is a four star gem whether you realize it at first or not. Some grab you right away, while others give way to rewarding experiences after repeated listens. Very similar to the music of "Talk Talk". Immediate stand out tracks include "your final setting sun" and "young saints" but with repeated listens "last problem of the alps", "somewhere there's a someone" and "gimme click, gimme grid" prove to be timeless tracks that I know I will cherish for years to come. Jason's music has always felt to me like a little secret that the world doesn't know about. After listening to this album, I have no doubt that the proverbial cat is about to be out of the bag. Nice work bro!

Solid album!

Origami Conspiracy,

I've been listening to this album via NPR for a week now and I love it. This is Lytle's best work since Sumday!

About Jason Lytle

Indie rock singer/songwriter Jason Lytle made his solo album debut in 2009, following a decade-long recording career as the frontman of Grandaddy. While his former group failed to find mainstream success before disbanding in 2006, Grandaddy nevertheless garnered critical acclaim in the indie rock underground, with particular attention focused on their first two albums. Lytle moved to Montana after the band's split, where he assimilated the state's geography into his songwriting and made his solo debut in association with the Anti- label.

Born on March 26, 1969, in Modesto, California, Lytle founded Grandaddy in 1992. Comprised originally of bassist Kevin Garcia and drummer Aaron Burtch in addition to Lytle (who handled vocals, guitar, and keyboards), the band expanded its lineup in 1995 to include guitarist Jim Fairchild and keyboardist Tim Dryden. Following a series of self-released albums, Grandaddy made their independent label debut in 1996 with A Pretty Mess by This One Band, a mini-LP released on the Will Records label. The full-length album Under the Western Freeway followed in 1997, and in addition to garnering significant critical notice (especially the song "Summer Here Kids"), the album resulted in a recording contract with V2 Records. The four-song EP Signal to Snow Ratio (1999) and second album The Sophtware Slump (2000) were also critically acclaimed, though the accolades didn't lead to mainstream success for the band.

In addition to a variety of compilations and EPs, Grandaddy released two more full-length albums, 2003's Sumday and 2006's Just Like the Fambly Cat, and broke up in the process of recording the latter, which ended up being something of a solo project by Lytle. In the aftermath of Grandaddy's dissolution, Lytle relocated from California to Montana and began translating his electro soundscapes to a solo context. He resurfaced in 2009 with his first proper solo release, Yours Truly, the Commuter, on Anti- records. After releasing an album of improvised piano pieces titled Merry X-Mas 2009 at the end of the year, Lytle's next move was to form Admiral Radley with former Grandaddy bandmate Burtch, plus Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray of Earlimart. Their first album, I Heart California, was released on Espinoza's The Ship label in July of 2010. Lytle next returned to his own songs and began recording his second album. Meanwhile he was recruited by Fairchild to put Grandaddy back together for some 2012 festival appearances. The group played the U.K.'s End of the Road Festival, San Francisco's Outside Lands, and Paris' Rock en Seine Festival, as well as some warmup dates. Plans for an album were kicked around, but before that could happen, Lytle released Dept. of Disappearance in October of 2012, again for the Anti- label. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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