Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings
Positive: 5 out of 5
Mixed: 0 out of 5
Negative: 0 out of 5
Review this album
Feb 10, 2013Years ago, as the music writer for an insignificant regional newspaper, a copy of a CD called Sumday arrived in the mail. Knowing little of the band Grandaddy (virtually unknown in the far-flung regions of Australia), I mentally filed it under 'indie beard folk' and threw it on a growing pile of sample products to be absorbed at a later date.
Months, if not years later, Sumday was finally given the chance of an audition. As I recall, it was late one Monday night, after too many drinks, but despite my damaged faculties it made an impact. Sumday soon provided a path to The Sophtware Slump, and despite my long standing preference for metal over all other genre, it proved to be one of those rare life-changing episodes. By now, I'd read a little about Grandaddy, including comparisons on Metacritic to Radiohead's 1997 effort, which had already gained its dubious sacred cow status.
Radiohead is an easy band to admire; but they write songs that are hard to love, even like. I gave OK Computer a 10/10 rating on release, yet I'll confess to not listening to the album in its entirety for years. I played Kid A last week, trying to rationalise in my own mind why Radiohead have achieved mythical status, yet Grandaddy are forgotten. I can't.
One of my greatest regrets is not discovering The Sophtware Slump on release. When I eventually did, it became an obsession. I played it on repeat for months. I lived it; I made love to it; eventually, I sought solace for my broken heart with it. Few other works of contemporary art have made a similar impact The Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin did. Experiencing Van Gogh's Starry Night did. Not much else has come close.
The Sophtware Slump is flawed, there's no disagreement here. Like the creations of many driven individuals, Jason Lytle doesn't know when to stop. But in an ugly world, talent beyond the far reaches of genius commands respect, particularly when that creativity can bring a 49-year-old cynic to years with a few strokes of a keyboard.
I bought Department of Disappearance last week. I had no great expectations Just Like the Fambly Cat was little more than a few cast-off ideas, and recent coverage on UTube seemed to confirm that Lytle's well-reported battle with drink and pills might have taken their toll. I've played the album five times. That's not enough yet it will take some late nights involving alcohol and opiates before I can really judge whether Lytle's bleak, yet life-affirming brand of self loathing is intact. My early guess is if The Sophtware Slump was Grandaddy's Dark Side of the Moon, this is Lytle's Wish You Were Here. And we all know which of those is the most popular nearly half a century later.… Expand