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Sophtware Slump

96 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 6, 2000
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$15.49 $0.01

Editorial Reviews

By pledging allegiance to old-time country music, 1960s power pop, and cheesy '70s electronic music, Grandaddy create an unlikely merger that, when it works, recalls the poppier elements of the Flaming Lips ("The Crystal Lake"). At other times ("He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot"), you might hear the rustic charm of Palace shot through with a dose of Kraftwerk. Much like, say, Mark Linkous (who helms Sparklehorse), Grandaddy mastermind Jason Lytle camps out in a remote part of the world (Modesto, California, in his case) and then transmits his off-kilter observations with a minimum of fuss. He can be poignant (the piano ballad "Underneath the Weeping Willow") or too clever for his own good ("Broken Household Appliance National Forest," a love song to technology's grimier half). But then just as Grandaddy mix disparate musical influences, they also jam together in-jokes on top of pathos. --Rob O'Connor

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot 8:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Hewlett's Daughter 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Jed the Humanoid 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. The Crystal Lake 5:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Chartsengrafs 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Underneath the Weeping Willow 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Broken Household Appliance National Forest 4:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Jed's Other Poem (Beautiful Ground) 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. E. Knievel Interlude (The Perils of Keeping It Real) 1:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Miner At the Dial-A-View 5:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. So You'll Aim Toward the Sky 4:43$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 6, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: June 6, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: V2 North America
  • ASIN: B00004T02T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,971 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
In many respects, the band Grandaddy is endearingly anachronistic. Consisting of 5 men in their 20's and early 30's, they are very unassuming fellows who dress plainly and wear varying (and at times, disturbingly large) amounts of facial hair. They like to do things like skateboard, shoot guns and drink beer. Their music is something like you might find if there was a place where the sounds of the Beach Boys, Kraftwerk and Neil Young all intersected. On top of it all, their new record, "The Sophtware Slump" is a concept album, one of the mainstays of your typically bad prog-rock outfits, and again harkens to days long since passed. And so you if you haven't heard Grandaddy before, you might read this and wonder wherein then lies the appeal? But this truth of the matter is that this an almost impossibly wonderful, oddly beautiful record. How this is remains something of mystery, yet they pull it off flawlessy. Charisma? Anti-charisma, perhaps? I can't explain.
TSS opens with the ambitious "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot". Against the backdrop of the new millenium, singer Jason Lytle takes stock of the human race: "Adrift again 2000 Man/ You lost your maps / You lost your plans". The song shifts gear several times, veering from uncertainty to cheerful optimism, but ultimately ending in defeat and despair over the plea "Don't give in 2000 man." As the album continues, we find that it's primary theme is technology, and of how it is in danger of spinning out of control, beyond man's abilities to rein it back in. Of how it is shaping (or perhaps more accurately, deforming) the human experience.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jon on June 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Grandaddy are one of those bands that don't get "high rotation" on radio or TV. Perhaps this is why when you finally do get to hear them your first reaction can't help but be... why? The Sophtware Slump is quite possibly the album of the year so far from what are quite possibly the most under-rated band of the decade. Blending serious poetry with lo-fi production and anything from gorgeous acoustic guitar to outrageous bleeps and buzzes, The Sophtware Slump is a refreshing pocket of brilliance in an increasingly souless landscape. Highlights include; "The Crystal Lake" with its crazy electronic scales and touching lyrics, the big guitar fuzz of "Broken Household Appliance National Forest" and the piercing "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot" which finishes with the lyrics "Don't give in 2000 man." Grandaddy are quite possibly destined to remain an enigma and perhaps this is what makes them so special. But at the end of the day there just aren't enough bands our there with the level of uniqueness and intensity that Grandaddy maintain seemingly effortlessly. This album is a treasure. It restores your faith in music. Get it.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Laid-back band Grandaddy, from Modesto California, reached their pinnacle in their 2000 "Sophtware Slump." A mix of spacey keyboards and dreamy space-folk, "Slump" is one of those rare albums you can just lie on your bed and listen all the way through, hypnotized.

It starts off with the gentle space ditty "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot," a lament that "they" (aliens?) have all the maps and plans. There's a more power-poppy sound to "Hewlett's Daughter" and the shimmery "Crystal Lake," which keeps Grandaddy from sounding too melancholy.

But despite the poppier songs, the middle of this is the unsettled, spacey sound of songs like "Jed the Humanoid," which starts with crickets and a rocket blasting off, or the soft piano-driven "Under the Weeping Willow." Grandaddy show their rock-ier side in the middle of "Broken Household Appliance National Forest," where the fuzz guitar roars out. Then it lapses back into balladic space-songs, finishing up with the ethereal, windy "So You'll Aim Toward the Sky."

Few albums are half as deservedly praised as "Sophtware Slump" is. The sound is so complex that it takes a few listens to fully absorb, yet you can listen to it and instantly be drawn in. Certainly songs that sound like a depressed robot wrote them are worth listening to, and "Sophtware Slump" will have you hooked before you realize it.

The percussion and guitar riffs are kept low-key and folky, and the bass only really lets rip occasionally. Backing up the guitar and percussion are the synths, which sound like an addled robot made them. It gives a spacey feel to the folky melodies. Not to mention the gentle keyboard of "Under the Weeping Willow" and "Jed the Humanoid.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Calvin Wood on November 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD's just so beautiful. When I try to describe it to someone, I always revert to "OK Computer plus Twin Peaks". Sometimes, when I'm listening to this, I just can't believe someone could create such an album like this one.

From the start, things are good. The 9-minute intro, "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot" starts with an echo-y strumming of a guitar and background noises (birds and electric hums) growing and then cutting off, and then growing and then cutting off. Quite an effect. The intro to the intro ends with someone saying over a radio, "Okay, 1, 2, 3, 4," and then the piece swoops into the fabulous meat of the song, which is lush and full, absolutely packed with electric noises and strumming guitars and the wonderful voice of the lead singer. Somewhere along the 3-minute mark, plinky pianos break the song and suddenly the vocals come through clear and unreverberated, and it's just wonderful.

"He's Simple" carries on for five more minutes, with slow electric violins and the tapping of a cymbal...the piano and the vocals and-...the wonderful orchestration, symphonisation, is just incredible, with backing vocals appearing and flowing over the tune in just the right pitch. I don't think this song could possibly be improved, even after listening to it fourty or fifty times, it just comes off flawlessly every single time. A lengthy synth solo, in the wrong hands, would bring the whole song crashing to the ground, but Grandaddy manages every detail with such finesse, you'd think they were professionals in a multi-million dollar studio with Alan Parsons at the controls.
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