Reforming in 2012, Last Place marks Grandaddy’s first album since they decided to team up once again. Much of Grandaddy’s music – undoubtedly in their latest release – is centred around the use of an analog synthesizer, played by front man Jason Lytle. The use of the electronic synthesizer with the classic strings and percussion composition makes for an unusual combination, distancing Grandaddy from other current musicians. Similarly, the Lo-Fi sound of Grandaddy’s earlier releases, which is still present in Lytle’s vocal track effects produces an alternative sound.
However, this album is neither amazing nor groundbreaking. Whilst the tracks themselves are solid, and the album is listenable, the listings do little to arouse great enthusiasm. It is by no means unique. Omnipresent in the album is the clear similarity between Lytle’s work and the work of the late Mark Linkous (AKA Sparklehorse). This is not a massive surprise given that Linkous and Lytle clearly shared similarities in their musical interests, with Linkous and Dangermouse producing a compilation album in which Lytle featured (Dark Night of The Soul, 2010). Despite suggesting that the album is uninspiring, for those who like the work of Sparklehorse, I would still certainly recommend giving this new album a listen, it may be right up your street.
Certain tracks in the album do possess a hint of time filling. ‘Chek Injin’ is supposed to come across as an amusing narrative centred around a driver whose car suddenly malfunctions on the freeway. However, it fails in achieving this. Songs like ‘Chek injin’ only serve to undermine the quality of the album.
The album receives a rather harsh two star rating, suffering as a result of the lack of the Unicode symbol for half a star; something which Temples’ new album benefited from. It is neither brilliant, nor is it a bore. The clear presence of sub-par fillers generally worsens the overall reception of the album. Grandaddy will surely hope to impress more with their next album.
Label: 30th Century Records
Release date: March 03, 2017
Play time: 43 mins
Standout track: I Don’t Wanna Live Here Anymore