Grandaddy Sumday

[V2/BMG; 2003]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: indie rock, wooz-rock with lotsa blips, bloops, an’ flutters adding texture
Others: The Flaming Lips, Electrelane, Audio Ovni, Marbles, Evening


I've been waiting for this dreadful moment for a long time now. My stomach has been in knots, my mind feeling numb and a sense of depression has filled my entire state of being. I have put myself in a position that I wish I would be able to avoid. I unfortunately must go forth, due to my overachieving character and face this horrific task that I have graciously volunteered to do. Let me tell you exactly why I feel this way.

Approximately one month ago, I swiftly e-mailed the editor-in-chief of our wonderful and beloved site and reserved my spot as the individual to review the new Grandaddy album Sumday. Perhaps I paid no mind to this decision because I have always been a fan of Grandaddy and their previous records. Under The Western Freeway and The Sophtware Slump are still in heavy rotation at home and may be two of the best albums I have ever heard in the last five years. So the decision was easy to make; I will review the new album and it will get top marks on the site. This is where things get difficult and beyond comprehension. I acquired Sumday a month ago and after repeated listens, I have yet to believe that this album is worth anymore than the rating I have graced upon it.

First of all, I don't despise Grandaddy for what they seem to be reaching for with this release. Gone are all of the awkward moments that were so beautiful and stunning from previous releases. This album is purely pop music. There is nothing surprising on the album other than the surprise of not being surprised (if that did not make any sense at all, read it again). Every song is like an open letter to our pop charts to embrace this wonder and creation called Grandaddy.Like one of our finest writers at TMT once said, "by the time you get to song seven, every track on the album sounds the same". 

Don't get me wrong, there are some standout tracks on the album. The opening track "Now It's On" is spacious and grandiose alt-pop. "Lost on Yer Merry Way" is a stunning display of Jason Lytle's vocal capabilities. He may have the most sultry, smooth vocals in all of the indie pop market. His ability to make any song sound beautiful is truly a gift that he shares with us on Sumday. That may be the only highlight of the record. Unfortunately, The accompanying instrumentation can be sluggish and down right monotonous. The sampling effects are still there but they are overlapped and seemingly appear absent due to the linear musical accompaniment. 

Sumday is not a bad album. It just isn't an achieved and realized album for Grandaddy standards of alt-pop music. Song titles like "O.K. with my Decay" and "Lost on Yer Merry Way" may best describe where Grandaddy is right now with their musical approach. So nowadays, as I reach in my Grandaddy collection for some charming and inventive pop rock to wind down a busy day, I will tend to stay away from Sumday and reach for some of their previous, more polished albums like Under the Western Freeway  or The Sophtware Slump. As for Grandaddy in the future, ‘sumday' they may return to their old collective form. For now, I have plenty to choose from their early work to keep me on stand-by. 

1. Now it's on
2. I'm on standby
3. The go in the go-for-it
4. The group who couldn't say
5. Lost on yer merry way
6. El caminos in the west
7. Yeah is what we had
8. Saddest vacant lot in the world
9. Stray dog and the chocolate shake
10. The warming sun
11. O.K. with my decay
12. The final push to the sun

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