An adventurous and engaging record that gives more on every listen.
Rowan Collinson 2009
Cult Californian four piece Grandaddy would like to be remembered for their minor masterpiece The Sophtware Slump, which captured the post millennial tension of Y2K. In truth, their epitaph will probably be their contribution to rock's gallery of spectacular beards, sporting a range of bouffant facial hair which make Fleet Foxes look positively pre-pubescent.
Sadly Grandaddy never capitalised on their musical potential, or facial foliage, and split in 2005. Yet Yours Truly, The Commuter – former frontman Jason Lytle's debut solo offering - is essentially a Granddaddy album in all but name. It's one of those records that, if it were a TV show, would be shot in widescreen – a combination of ghostly, detached vocals over panoramic, synthesized soundscapes. The lo-fi vocals of Brand New Sun sound a distant cousin to The Crystal Lake, whilst the queasy keyboards of Birds Encouraged Him are hark back to the adventurousness of Lytle's later work. Unlike those records however, which drifted into alarmingly proggy territory, relocating from Modesto to the more rural climbs of Montana, seems to have helped him rediscover his tuneful playfulness. The title track has a cute, nursery rhyme melody, whilst Rolling Home Alone marries a seventies synthesised drone to a lilting hymnal tune, given grace by Lylte's strangely affecting drawl.
Yours Truly the Commuter is an adventurous and engaging record that gives more on every listen. It may not win him any new converts, but for Grandaddy affecionados it's definitely not a case of too Lytle too late.