The Sophtware Slump
Save the human spirit. This is the theme of Grandaddy's second album
This is the theme of Grandaddy's second album, and although it may lack the immediacy of their first, it is far more cohesive, sophisticated and poignant. Similar to the way in which Mercury Rev's 'Deserter's Songs' was a vivid snapshot of frontier twilight, 'The Sophtware Slump' is a picture of a place where the dreams of the last century have gone to die. It's about getting lost in the dazzling glare of the computer screen, and finding your way home again. And, yes, it's made by men with terrifying facial hair.
Like Henry David Thoreau with a mobile phone, Lytle tries to find solace in nature only to discover that even the forests are bulging with technological detritus. 'Broken Household Appliance National Forest' is about how "Meadows resemble showroom floors/Owls fly out of oven doors", (and it's a pop song!) and 'Crystal Lake' weighs the purity of bucolic beauty against "parties full of folks who flake".
It isn't a Luddite attitude that Grandaddy espouse. Their fundamental country muse is upgraded with skewed electronica and layers of studio tampering. They have found a way to reconcile man and machine - by taking control of the devices at hand and making something truly beautiful, mysterious and timeless. Grandaddy have entered the 21st century with their souls intact. Now they're making sure we have, as well.
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