Grandaddy’s fifth studio album (coming after an eleven-year break), released on March 3rd.
4 out of 5 stars.
By the time I started listening to Grandaddy (circa 2007), they had already split, so I am delighted to get a new album from them and more delighted to report that Last Place picks up exactly where they left off.
Grandaddy is the soundtrack to the modern world, evoking the present with an uncanny ability to convey malaise, yearning, irony, boredom and love in music and lyric.
For the already-Grandaddy fan: Last Place belongs in your collection. It’s close in style to The Sophtware Slump with clean piano tracks and strings and the return of our friend Jed. But though it has a feeling of immediate familiarity, Last Place is in no way redundant. Also – bless your hearts, Grandaddy – it’s an album that works as an album and rewards you for front to back listening (so no shuffling off the bat, guys).
For the newcomer: If you like deceptive simplicity and mood music for working (with subtle climax and dynamics that reward repeated listens), Last Place is a great entry point. Lead singer Jason Lytle’s got himself a real Neil Young-y voice (Under the Western Freeway’s “Collective Dreamwish of Upperclass Elegance” is the best approximation of what Neil Young would have sounded like if he emerged in the ’90s), so if you can’t dig the voice, you might not dig the band and I can’t do anything to change that.
For everyone: Do yourself a favor and give Last Place a listen.
Standout track: Evermore
A bonus Grandaddy Top 10:
10. Fentry (Machines Are Not She, 1998; Broken Down Comforter Collection, 2002 compilation)
9. Rear View Mirror (Just Like the Fambly Cat, 2006)
8. Poisoned at Hartsy’s Thai Food (Under the Western Freeway, 1998)
7. Evermore (Last Place, 2017)
6. Miner at the Dial-A-View (The Sophtware Slump, 2000)
5. Collective Dreamwish of Upperclass Elegance (Under the Western Freeway, 1998)
4. Taster (A Pretty Mess By This One Band, 1996; Broken Down Comforter Collection, 2002 compilation)
3. He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot (The Sophtware Slump, 2000)
2. Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground) (The Sophtware Slump, 2000)
1. Kim, You Bore Me to Death (A Pretty Mess By This One Band, 1996; Broken Down Comforter Collection, 2002 compilation)