Grandaddy
The Sophtware Slump


5.0
classic

Review

by The Katz brothers USER (183 Reviews)
July 26th, 2006 | 124 replies | 13,136 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

A slightly detached guitar begins strumming out of tune chords. A warbling voice hums a few lines, and the album begins. "1234… How's it going 2000 man
Welcome back to solid ground my friend
I heard all your controls were jammed
Well it's just nice to have you back again" . These words are whispered by Jason Lytle, the mastermind behind American indie pop outlet, Grandaddy. The song is the near perfect album opener, He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot and the year is 2000. Grandaddy's Sophtware Slump starts out with this beautifully orchestrated tune about the trials of a man from the future. Through piano lines, acoustic guitars and atmospheric effects we hear the buildings of a truly great album from a misunderstood mind. The Sophtware Slump is, for conversation’s sake, a concept album. It's about the near future, technology and emotion, a post apocalyptic universe where true feelings don't matter and machines take the roles of humans. Sure, it's been done, but Grandaddy do it just as brilliantly as anyone has ever. They do it, with creativity and powerful emotions. TSS's unseen savior is its habit of counteracting every sad song with an upbeat without losing the obvious emotion in the former. This makes for a very exciting depression record.

The music of the Sophtware Slump is very moving, replacing the typical indie pop instrumentation with a very spacey, Flaming Lips esque, less is more type of songwriting. Most songs are crafted with a grand piano, an effects board and a soul. Jed the Humanoid is a perfect example of this style of songwriting; it is a piano oriented tearjerker that finds Mr. Lytle singing an all too familiar story about the death of a close (but perhaps not real) friend. Though the song never builds out of the calm stages, it stays interesting through clever lyrics and catchy, but not too catchy instrumentation. Of course there is always some good old guitar jams, and the tones Jason rips from his Jazzmaster strings are near perfect, with plenty of fuzz, but a very clear cut sound. This is especially potent on songs like The Crystal Lake and the wonderfully titled Broken Household Appliance National Forest. The former makes it a classic through its heart pounding emotion and brilliant melodies with the latter using a blend of bass heavy power chords and weeping interludes. Another moment of true musical brilliance is Miner at the Dial-A-View, the guitars, once again are perfect, this time backed by not only Jason's incredibly relaxed voice, but drums and synthesizers aplenty. Though the vocals/lyrics stand out more than anything, the Sophtware Slump is, if nothing else, a record built entirely on the perfect tone.

The plot of the story takes another saddening turn with the introduction of Jed's Other Poem, a sort of suicide note for the friendly robot, the song is characterized by a rather impending, but otherwise uplifting organ and a simple drum beat. The song reads aloud Jed's final words to an audience, without a dry eye in the house (hey, I have allergies). The album, in a nutshell, is a disassembled journey through the future, the human heart, and the inhuman heart. It is, though it may not be billed as it, a classic indie rock record that keeps its influences close but its originality even closer. An Amazing record, and deserving of a 5/5 rating.

Pros
Great tonal qualities
Creative, lyrically and musically
Emotional

Cons
Sounds a lot like The Flaming Lip's The Soft Bulletin (but maybe better)
So-so drumming

-Joe



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Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 26th 2006



2806 Comments


I like how you started with the opening track and then went to describe it as an overall. Very well done. Fix the formatting, which I'm sure you are as I type.

Laafe
July 26th 2006



347 Comments


Lip’s = irritating.

nice review, btw

Zebra
Moderator
July 26th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is ace. There isn't a weak track until the albums closer.
Cool review, short and precise.

StickmanSouffle
May 1st 2009



286 Comments


This along with Sumdays looks like albums I should get.

...Now

gaslightanthem
June 2nd 2009



5209 Comments


This needs so much more love than it gets

PuddlesPuddles
July 25th 2009



4772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ 123

This is pretty great

Egarran
November 28th 2009



258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Grandaddy is proof that some bands are doomed to obscurity for no good reason whatsoever.

mvood
July 3rd 2010



818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

has to be one of the most underated releases ever

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
July 3rd 2010



15003 Comments


i really didnt like this on first listen like sixm onths ago

xharles
July 3rd 2010



36 Comments


have u herad thato ther one rab?

Jarvig
November 15th 2010



168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Indie doesnt get much better than this. Superb indie album.

PuddlesPuddles
November 15th 2010



4772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

roberstona, does that mean you like it a lot now?

Zion
April 4th 2011



812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow this album is amazing. And this band is suddenly one of my favorite bands ever. I'm a big Lips fan and this is unique enough while still sharing some similar vibes that I just love it......... DAMN. The last two songs are 10000/5.

jefflebowski
December 23rd 2011



7574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

seriously what is it with Granddaddy and randomly misspelled album titles

Digging: Tom Waits - Bone Machine

wacknizzle
January 29th 2012



12896 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

seriously great and underrated album, i was very pleased to find this hidden jam back when i was a freshmen in high school and it remains a favorite to this day.

Digging: Racebannon - Satan's Kickin' Yr Dick In

jefflebowski
September 11th 2012



7574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

can't believe i had this rated a 3

Capablanca
September 24th 2012



204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listening this non-stop since last week, it's so good.

Digging: Arctic Monkeys - AM

jefflebowski
September 24th 2012



7574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

unbelievably good album, beautiful ground and so you'll aim toward the sky are breathtakingly awesome

Capablanca
September 24th 2012



204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So You'll Aim Toward the Sky and Jed The Humanoid are my favorites. The first one reminds me of Pink Floyd which can never be a bad thing.

ABjordanMM
October 7th 2012



1379 Comments


Underneath The Weeping Willow
That is all.

Digging: Frank Ocean - Channel Orange



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