I really like Jason Lytle. His unassuming delivery and pop sensibilities greatly appeal to me. I remember the first time I heard this particular album, I was listening to a lot of bands of a similar ilk. While most of those bands have fallen off the listening queue, Grandaddy have been one of the few bands I still go back and listen to again. But not so much Under The Western Freeway anymore. I'm more partial to Sumday, which is a bit later in their career.
Lytle tries to channel the voice of Brian Wilson, then Neil Young then a mix of the two (or maybe it is all Wayne Coyne-inspired). But there's also something unique about his delivery. You know he's singing with his eyes closed, experiencing whatever emotion he is trying to convey through his words and projecting it to his audience. I really like this aspect.
Unfortunately, not everything on this album is worthy. Some of the tracks, like the title track and Poisoned At Hartsy Thai Food, are indulgent and don't seem to really go anywhere, almost as though they're afterthoughts. But all can be forgiven when these stand next to such shining tracks as Summer Here Kids and A.M. 180.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP (mostly)
YourZ was disappointed when I greeted this with an - ech. It's not because the music's not good - it is. But once again the songs are being sung by someone who really doesn't deserve the title of singer. Whiny and untuneful. Not as bad as Bob Dylan, but getting there. In fact there was one song that was so out of tune, I just couldn't listen to it.
I'd call this background music - good for a dinner party but not for intense listening.
VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN
For more information: http://www.myspace.com/grandaddy