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[THIRD Edition]
Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.
Subjects: Popular music; Musical recordings -- Grandaddy (musical group)
Author: Muther, Christopher
Date: May 12, 2006
Start Page: D.17
Section: Arts
Abstract (Document Summary)

Jason Lytle, the man who sings, writes the songs, and plays nearly every instrument for the band Grandaddy, has turned his predilection for austere sounds, sprinkled with electronic nonpareils, into a dangerously seductive cottage industry. For 14 years, he's crossed the Electric Light Orchestra with Elliott Smith to make electro-hippie songs that are uncomfortably numb, pulling you in with floating harmonies and helium layers of "Ahhhs" before you have a chance to realize that he's singing about a forest full of homeless toasters. Listening to the band's fifth and final album, it's not difficult to imagine that he's using the tale of a disappearing feline as an allegory for the amicable end of the band. Less obvious are Lytle's feelings about the matter. He sounds utterly content and happy about the decision to end Grandaddy during the pert "Elevate Myself" ("I don't wanna work all night and day on writing songs that make the young girls cry.") His voice is as beautifully detached as ever. But there are moments when Grandaddy bursts into angry spirals of snarling guitar and then pure melancholy that indicate Lytle is having a difficult time adjusting to his new reality. Like all Grandaddy albums, it's best not to scratch your head in wonder or attempt to dissect the dreamlike lyrics too closely. "Just Like the Fambly Cat" is, instead, a gorgeous album that should be admired much like a fleeting sunny afternoon or a sad foreign movie viewed without subtitles. ESSENTIAL TRACK: "Elevate Myself."

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