Like the title says, the former Granddaddy leader finds
himself on his first solo album as a traveler.
And sure enough, he’s gone from being sweet and hopeful indie rocker to
being spacey/catchy (on their last/best album Just Like the Fambly Cat) to a downcast troubadour.
Yours Truly, The
Commuter is something of a concept record as Lytle starts a journey
(“Brand New Sun”), gets caught up in animals (“Ghost of My Old
Dog,” “Birds Encouraged Them”), loses friends (“The
Song is the Mute Button,” “You’re Too Gone”), wanders back
(“Rollin’ Home Alone”) and then arrives (“Here For
Through it all, he applies his gently-strummed guitar,
string synthesizers for atmosphere, sweet sighing vocal choruses and gentle,
brooding piano. Since he’s still got an
unerring knack for songs, especially on the Beach Boys gone grunge “It’s
the Weekend” and the cosmic Flaming Lips tribute “Furget It,”
the record never really falters, it does get a little drowsy in the second
half. As Bob Mould or Frank Black could tell him, the mature solo phase is
tricky to navigate.
Standout Tracks: “It’s the Weekend,” “Brand New
Sun” JASON GROSS