Jason Lytle: Dept. of Disappearance

Dept.. Of Disappearance

Dept.. Of DisappearanceGrandaddy was one of those bands that I used to listen to that had no basis in reality. They were a band. They occasionally got written up on Pitchfork. But other than that I never really met another fan of their music or heard anyone mention them. All despite being dubbed the American indie Radiohead by at least one person with no imagination. I mean it makes sense when more obscure bands don’t make it into my circle of consciousness beyond my insular musicalia, but this band was actually semi-popular somewhere. So when they broke up, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t bawling, but I was the sad Mac face for a minute or two. Enter Jason Lytle’s solo album. And I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound a lot like a Grandaddy album (surprise, surprise). There is still the kind of chilled out inner-California vibe surrounded by some bleeps and bloops, but with less of the dystopian experimentation mid-career stuff (for which they received most of their accolades) and not as much goofy pop-ish sound as their later work (for which they received some derision). It really kind of falls into a comfort spot between the two, bringing in its own solo-act trick of adding an acoustic guitar for a more folksy sound. I gotta say that I was kind of hoping for a return to the early days and maybe Lytle throwing down some serious indie rock, but he is nothing but mellow on this one. Including a song, “Last Problem of the Alps” that sounds suspiciously like “Hallelujah.” Seriously, I think he’ll be hearing from Mr. Cohen’s attorneys any day now. That said, this, and quite a few of the other eleven songs are pretty solid. His stuff always seems simple out of the gate, but multiple listens really brings out the subtle beauty in his music. Sure he’s a little out there, but the man knows how to pen a song. Better with every listen.