It has been over a decade since we last had an album by Grandaddy. The band came up in the late 90’s, early 00’s with a mix of chunking guitar, glittery synth, and singer Jason Lytle’s dramatic and forlorn voice overtop. It was a good mixture, and the band became every critic’s darling. They produced four solid records with 2006’s Just Like the Fambly Cat as the band’s swan song, essentially a Lytle solo album.
Apparently that was not the way the band wanted to go out. In 2012, they reunited and did a string of festival shows, but no new music. But that changed in 2016 when Lytle promised one last Grandaddy record, and in March of 2017 came Last Place.
Last Place is full of the trademark Lytle disillusionment and swirling melody with synth heavy distortion. A decent, but not great, bookend if this is indeed the band’s last record. Last Place opens with the lead single “Way We Won’t”, a subtle and drifting opener that puts the synth front and center with a happy, little chorus that would fit nicely in a Bob Ross painting. “Evermore” is an ear-worm with a chugging melody that will instantly get stuck between your ears. “Chek Injin” is a punky nail-biter with razor-sharp precisioned chorus. The trio of “I Don’t Want to Live Here Anymore”, “That’s What You Get For Gettin’ Outta Bed”, and “This is the Part”, while all good songs, make for a melancholy look at life in general, and could have been better spread out throughout the record. “The Lost Machine” is a beautiful 6-minute ode sorely misplaced within the album… Not that that matters in the land of iTunes…. But it matters to me dammit…
For those who love Grandaddy, it’s a high-point that main man Jason Lytle was able to get back together for one last album. For the average fan, it’s decent, but as said previously, the music gets lost as if the melancholy took too much control. We’ll see if he’s got one more in him.