Grandaddy
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Complex Party Come Along Theories , 5/10
Under The Western Freeway , 7/10
The Broken Down Comforter Collection , 7/10 (comp)
The Sophtware Slump , 6.5/10
Sumday (2003), 5/10
Just Like The Family Cat (2006), 6/10
Jason Lytle: Yours Truly The Commuter (2009), 5.5/10
Last Place (2017), 5/10
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If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me. I Grandaddy sono un quintetto di Modesto, a sud di San Francisco, non troppo lontano dalla citta` dei Pavement, dei quali imitano l'approccio "lo-fi" ma con un piglio molto piu` melodico. Formati dal chitarrista e cantante Jason Lytle nel 1992, esordirono con un album autoprodotto di cui stamparono soltanto 200 copie, Complex Party Come Along Theories (1994), registrato da una formazione a tre (Kevin Garcia al basso e Aaron Burtch alla batteria).

Reclutarono poi il tastierista Tim Dryden e il chitarrista Jim Fairchild e pubblicarono gli EP Machines Are Not She (1995) e A Pretty Mess By This One Band (1997), in seguito raccolti su The Broken Down Comforter Collection (V2, 1999),

Under The Western Freeway (Will, 1997) e` l'album che li rivela. Le canzoni coniano un curioso genere di storia domestica e di pop senza pretese. I singoli (Summer Here Kids, il capolavoro, Laughing Stock, AM 180, Eveything Beautiful is Faraway ) sono orecchiabili senza essere banali, ma talvolta (Why Took Your Advice) il gruppo scivola nel melodismo stucchevole degli XTC. La semplicita` dei testi e` rispecchiata soltanto in parte dagli arrangiamenti: il genere di riferimento e` la ballata country piu` nuda, ma i Grandaddy la infarciscono di tenui e brevi rumori elettronici e chitarristici.

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

With the socio/sci-fi concept album The Sophtware Slump (V2, 2000) and its retro` electronic arrangements, Grandaddy's quirky pop a` la Sparklehorse reached a new level of sophistication. Lead-off nine-minute track He's Simple blends strumming folkish guitars a` la They Might Be Giants, King Crimson-ian mellotron and David Bowie-esque pensive hymn-like melodies. Basically, Grandaddy transitioned from a power-pop band to a new wave ensemble.
The oblique harmonies of Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips fuel naive ditties such as Hewlett's Daughter, The Crystal Lake, Miner at the Dial-A-View but augmented with the pomp and the gloss of 1970s techno-rock (Alan Parson, ELO). The rest straddles the line between folk, glam-rock and power-pop, with occasional strokes of genius (Jed's Other Poem).

Concrete Dunes (Lakeshore, 2002) is a collection of rarities.

Shunning the experimental side (and the angst) of the previous album, Sumday (V2, 2003) delivers accomplished and unprententious country-pop, but not much more. Thus the echoes of Electric Light Orchestra and Alan Parsons Project are even stronger in the poppier songs. Particularly catchy are Now It's On, The Go in the Go-For-It, Yeah Is What We Had. The atmosphere of the previous album still permeated El Caminos In The West and Saddest Vacant Lot in All the World, but the serious moments are rather encapsulated in the album's centerpiece, O.K. With My Decay, which is also the longest track on the album. This album adds little to Grandaddy's canon, and actually introduces a worrying element: it is always dangerous when musicians begin to think that they can write great lyrics (very few can), and Lytle may be entering that stage.

The seven-song EP Excerpts From The Diary Of Todd Zilla (Devil In The Woods, 2005) contains Cinderland and Florida.

Just Like The Family Cat (2006) is a concept album of sorts, devoted to a metaphorical journey (literally by a cat) that mirrors Lytle's existential journey. The songs are mature and competent, although they rarely (Summer It's Gone, Rear View Mirror) attain true greatness.

After the breakup of Granddady, Jason Lytle debuted solo with Yours Truly The Commuter (Anti, 2009), an honest album that sounded a bit outdated although, as usual, impeccably designed and performed (Yours Truly The Commuter, Ghost of My Old Dog).

Grandaddy returned with Last Place (2017), yet another break-up album of rock music, that contains the singles Way We Won't, A Lost Machine and Evermore.

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