Album: Jason Lytle, Yours Truly, the Commuter (Anti-)

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The Independent Culture

Since disbanding Grandaddy prior to the band's 2006 swansong Just Like The Fambly Cat, Jason Lytle has decamped to rural Montana, where he recorded this solo debut entirely on his own.

The move hasn't effected a Bon Iver-style solitary magic on his creative output; indeed, it's hard to understand why he split up the band, so closely do these tracks follow the Grandaddy formula of folksy guitar-rock glazed with electronic washes and fronted by Lytle's fragile, reedy vocals. There's a diminution in impetus, but not always to the songs' benefit: the entry of his overdubbed bass partway through "Ghost Of My Old Dog", for instance, swamps the song's delicate balance of elements; while the simple punk-buzz guitar riff that drives "It's The Weekend" just makes one hanker for more of the same, instead of the steady diet of acoustic guitar, keyboard drones, synth strings and electronic whines that comprises the bulk of Yours Truly, The Commuter. Which is not to say it's not enjoyable: tracks like "Brand New Sun", "Rollin' Home Alone", and the title-track, hymn Lytle's new home with an engaging warmth, while more tragic matters – the loss of his dog, the regret at losing old friends – are treated with a poignant wonder that's quite beguiling. I just wish it rocked a bit harder, that's all.

Download this: "You're Too Gone", "Yours Truly, The Commuter", "Rollin' Home Alone"