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on May 9, 2006
What a melancholy and wonderous listen...goodbye's are always so sad, especially when you know you'll never see them again. I wish the boys would tour in support, but alas...The album is great, what Grandaddy was meant to be (IMO). Do they blaze new trails into uncharted territory?..no, and I'm glad. I wanted the last Grandaddy album to be a Grandaddy album and they did a spectacular job. 14 tracks, 11 of which are magic, 2 hold there own, and then there is "..what happened..", the opener, which I will never skip on the CD player...it sets the tone for the last hurrah. The last 1/3 of the album is just plain ridiculous (in a good way). Elevate, Campershell, Disconnecty..OH MAN! It does indeed sound like a "best of" of all new songs...Crystalline production, as always...this will be in rotation for a LONG TIME. A pleasure to watch this band grow throughout the years...thanks Jason, Aaron, Tim, Jim and Kev...You're disconnected but we still love you! PEACE.
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on May 24, 2006
Ah, memories...

Just Like The Fambly Cat is most definitely a record for the fans. And this review is going to also be for the fans. Let's look back, one last time:

Remember "El Caminos in the West?" I do. I thought that was as rocking as Grandaddy was going to let themselves get. Boy was I wrong! Album opener (and appropriately named head-banger) "Jeez Louise" gets things going at full volume. Jason Lytle sings with more of a snarl than ever before.

Or how about "Broken Household Appliance National Forest?" What I loved about that song the first time hearing it through was Grandaddy's complete disregard for verse-chorus-verse. Instead, if they wanted a guitar solo, hell, there'd be a solo. The solo would fade out into silence, and then the verse would star up again. Track 3 on JLTFC, "Summer... It's Gone," takes turns that are just as unpredictable and exciting. I don't wanna ruin the surprise for you, but edgy pop songs turn into martian landscapes and back again.

And you know what, there's no shame in repeating the same four chords for five minutes. It worked wonders on "Laughing Stock," and it's even more powerful (much more) on "This is How it Always Starts." Digital whooshes break like waves over the "ooo"s and "aaa"s that have become a staple of the Grandaddy sound. And this time, I can't sense the slightest reservation in the vocal performance.

But this isn't just a record of rehashed ideas. There's a lot of new ground as well. "Elevate Myself" for instance is unlike any Grandaddy song I've ever heard. It seems to be a song about the struggles Jason Lytle has had being in this band, or writing music, or whatever it is that troubles him.

"I don't wanna work all night and day on writing songs that make the young girls cry / or playing little solos on a keyboard the kids'll ask me how and why." and then later on "I don't wanna be a part of all the quality that falls apart these days / I'd rather make an honest sound and watch it fly around and then be on my waaaay."

And this is the single, folks.

Most notably though, is the production. Every sound on this record fits flawlessly with every other sound. Songs twist and turn in ways that are more than welcome, they are thrilling. Pop songs are outfitted with screeching keyboards and string arrangements, all in the same breath. Then the songs themselves melt away, but always manage to find themselves.

Unfortunately, this isn't THE perfect Grandaddy record every Grandaddy fan knows these guys had in them. There are still a couple of tracks that don't hold up. But, by the end of the record, it's impossible to not feel that the world of music is taking a huge loss by the break up of this band.

If you've never heard Grandaddy before, this album is their most indulgent, but don't let that scare you. I know I said that this record is for the fans, but after listening to it, you'll be one, too.
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on June 1, 2006
This album could get five stars for the production value alone. Even though he'd hate to be called it, Jason Lytle is a wizard in the studio. The sound and overall mood of the album is lush and beautiful in some parts, fragile and twisted elsewhere. As far as where it rates in relation to the rest of Grandaddy's fine catalogue... it stands on its own as a terrific bookend to their career. Best track for me is "Where I'm Anymore", for the sheer brilliance of the guitar solo the fact that the lyrics are written from the perspective of the fambly cat. Brilliant, just brilliant!

Grandaddy was also one of the finest live acts I've ever seen and you can bet that Jason has the rest of his band mates to thank for that. Aaron, Tim, Jimmy... carry on in whatever means suit you best. The fambly cat may have moved to Montana but there are plenty of other strays living in Modesto. I hope that sumday we'll see you all together again.
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on July 11, 2006
Nothing saddens me more than to see this band dismember. I think this album is an awesome way to see a good thing finally go. I mean to go out humbly and peacefully...just like a cat does.

The mastermind behind Grandaddy, Jason Lytle, is nothing less than a musical prodigy and poet. I believe summing up all of Grandaddy's material this record couldn't be more comprehensive. It covers just about every showground the band tried to discover. It encompasses that beautiful melodic glow of the early and yet still has time to punch the power cords for a few punk-style favorites.

The album really helps the band come full circle, if there is such a thing. It is a collection of tales expressed without fault, all the way from the innocence of the opener to the dramatic and theatrical close.

"I'll never return.....to Shangri La"---------It will whisp you away.
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on May 21, 2006
Come on! This is an incredible CD. People are always talking about wanting to discover something different - this is it. By different, I don't mean to say weird and inaccessible. No, this is really great stuff, and it sounds like nothing else out there. It could perhaps be the offspring of a pairing of, bizarre as it sounds, the Beatles and Weezer. Be patient. A first listen can sound corny to the uninitiated. Repeated listening will reveal an inspired depth and vision. OK, I'm making myself sick. But really, this deserves a listen.
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VINE VOICEon May 24, 2006
A gifted songwriter can make it look so easy. Just come up with a lyrical theme, a catchy melody and a cool instumental hook, and you've got a winning pop/rock song. So how come so few people can do it? Jason Lyte is one of those few, and on this, Grandaddy's last record, he has hit his peak (at least up to this point) as a songwriter. "Rear View Mirror," "Campershell Dreams," "The Animal World" . . . the power chords, combined with the flowing melodies, make these gorgeous songs sound like the Pixies, if Brian Wilson was writing their vocal melodies. I will be listening to this album all summer long.
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on May 11, 2006
This is a fitting encore album for a band that truly defined rainy day / space pop music. This album is a solid listen from start to end, and any true grandaddy fan will appreciate the return to form for the band. The Diary of Toddzilla EP foreshadowed the theme of this final opus by band leader Jason Lytle, expressing his melancholic distress about leaving his hometown of modesto, CA. While the anger is less prevalent in this release, clearly Lytle is moving on and I have a feeling this will not be the last music we hear from him personally (I hope anyways). The album ends with a rendition of ELO's outro "shangri-la" from their New World Record Album, complete with operatic overtures. Overall this is an excellent album and the band will be sorely missed in this day and age of uninspired new music.
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on November 27, 2013
I've always been a HUGE Grandaddy fan. Previously owning Sumday and the Sophtware Slump, I didn't know how this album would turn out. I've heard different thing from different people, and having a listen now myself I can safely say it's AMAZING! Every song is perfect! From start to finish this album has "wow-ed" me all the way through. Kudos Grandaddy, Kudos.
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VINE VOICEon May 17, 2006
Although I really hate to have this band go, what a way to bow out. This sixty year old has been blown away by Grandaddy since their beginning. I have seen them twice (a third if you count playing with Giant Sand), and am constantly mesmerized by their unique sound. This album is as good as their earlier efforts and make it even harder to say goodbye. What a great album, I recommend it for everybody. I will really miss them!
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a lush, inspiring album that takes you on wondrous trips of the mind. The harmonies and soothing grooves move the emotions in powerful ways. The songs are finely constructed gems that evolve the more you listen to them. This is a treasure for the ears and the soul.
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