Dept of Disappearance is as GRAND as any Lytle/Grandaddy album has ever been. His vocals have never sounded better. Jason is a master at recording himself! His signature "oooohs and ahhhs" have never been more beautiful. Also, I think this may be his BEST synthesizer work ever. He took his familiar bleeps and bloops to another level. The synth sounds are flat out amazing. Even jaw-dropping at times. Jason says his goal is to make each album better than the last. He met the goal! And that says a lot considering his last album (Yours Truly) was also pretty dang good. The songs on Dept are epic and long. As a big fan of "Sumday" I'm one of those people who usually thinks 3 1/2 minutes are enough for a song. And as a songwriter/recorder myself I know that it can be a challenge to keep a song interesting after the 3 minute mark. However, this is not a problem for Jason Lytle. These songs never get dull. They're just as long as they need to be. No more and no less. The arrangements and orchestration are really top notch. I think Jason Lytle is completely on top of his game right now. The subject matter of the album is a bit dark. There's a lot about death and dying. But, that subject was approached so tastefully that it's hard to complain. The darkness of the album makes the bright moments shine even brighter. Again, just a fantastic job all around. With vocals, synth and orchestration so great, I think Dept of Disappearance deserves 5 stars.
I have listened to Jason Lytle for some time and most of his works, both solo and with Granddaddy, are similar though each album does go on it's own way. Department of Disappearance does sound as though he is trying to stay out of the limelight or at least discusses the concept though not all songs go that route. The album is a little slow and I don't believe it is as good as Yours Truly, the Commuter (his other solo project) but I still recommend it. More could be said but I am here only to give an overview of what I think and not to be a critic.
I was floored when Pitchfork gave this album a lowly 5.9, because Dept. of Disappearance is really such an accomplished and cohesive statement and a real enjoyment to listen to. Sure it can be thematically bleak at times, but it's hard not to fall for Lytle's confessional delivery and typically lush arrangements. I get that some people find him an aloof (or even chilly) presence on record, but the reality is that his aesthetic is so unique it's hard to pigeonhole him or his singular songwriting mind. He's a true American original, and we're lucky to have him.
I've been listening to Grandaddy for over 5 years now, and I could not be more pleased with this new cd by Jason Lytle. It's some of the most personal, down to earth music I've heard. Really good soundtrack for personal reflection or a peaceful walk through nature.
Jason continues his incredible song writing and gets into some deeper, darker territory here with songs like Young Saints and Willow Wand Willow Wand. Love it and can't listen to it enough. Am I the only one who would really dig it if Jason tried doing some twangy country songs though?
jason lytle is back! love this cd from the beginning to the end,my favorite song is(willow wand willow wand)...beautiful stuff! so if you liked grandaddy you'll love this! ...oh! and allways wondered what jason would sound like if he teamed up w/producer dave fridmann(mercury rev,mgmt etc.)and david bowie!? -although he is doing quite well on his own.
Lytle has really made a fantastic album, this one is very cohesive, I'd say more so than his previous solo album. Each track fits into the mood of the album perfectly, and the entire thing includes a variety of different moods and themes. The opening track which bears the name of the album, is a driving guitar-based tune, while other songs, such as "Somewhere There's A Someone" are more acoustic melancholy songs. It also includes other pieces similar to Jason Lytle's previous work including a short inspirational song ("Get Up and Go"), and a short interlude ("Chopin Drives Truck To The Dump"). Highly recommended.
Fuller, denser and more experimental than his first solo album. To me, this feels like a Grandaddy album. I am amazed that all these layers and layers of great sounds and melody can come from just one man. Loved it.