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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Sophtware Slump
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 3 January 2005
Are you feeling open-minded? Then I'll begin. The Sophtware Slump is one of the oddest albums you will ever buy, but what the hell: it's genius. This is an album of contrasts and innovation: lo-fi tunes, pondering lyrics, angsty vocals and great instumentation.
The Crystal Lake and Hewlett's Daughter are both lovely tunes that you may just surprise yourself by singing along to. Next to them nestles the bizarre, sardonic and totally deadpan Jed the Humanoid: with lyrics and delivery ("Jeddy 3 is what we first called him/Then it was Jed/But Jed's system's dead/Therefore so's Jed") that are understated, quirky and yet somehow powerful. There are Meanings in there, folks, and all sorts of emotions lurking: love, loss, bewilderment, but at the same time there's dry humour and an endearing simplicity that makes this unforgetable.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2001
Read all the other reviews and I concur wholeheartedly with most of them.Don't think I can add a great deal,I just felt compelled to contribute as the album is such a beautiful experience. Personally I preferred this to their debut which,although excellent,doesn't hang together quite as fully as this one. Anyhow,don't want to pick out fave tracks particularly as they change the more I play the album,but I must say that "...Dial a View" takes me away to some place wondrous..
Emotive.Immersive.Melodic.Life-enhancing.Choose your own adjectives,but don't live your live without this profoundly beautiful work of Art !!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2006
Except for these words of course. Grandaddy must be one of the most underrated bands of all time but then it's sort of nice that they're a reasonably undiscovered gem. Anyway there are very few albums around that can be classed as a work of art. The Sophtware Slump can. It's a fascinating and charming album. With all the derived formulaic stuff around in the 'indie' world, bands like Grandaddy are a breath of fresh air and discovering albums like this isn't just like discovering a new collection of songs, it's like discovering a new best friend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2006
The Sophtware Slump succeeds on many levels. One, it has one of the most wonderful examples of cover art in Rock History; two, it is a viable and beautiful concept album, and with what a concept; three, It contains some of the most beautiful pop-rock songs ever created by the hand of man.

The concept is a simple one - the conflict of computers and nature, and Grandaddy exploit this to its full. There are paeans to a strange Tulgey Wood-esque landscape littered with "vacuum bags" and "Oily Rags" and populated with deer ('Broken Household Appliance National Forest'), odes to the futility and sadness of science ('Chartsengrafs') and, at the album's core, the story of Jed the Humanoid, a robot created to do good who becomes depressed and dies of alcoholism. The twin songs of 'Jed the Humanoid' and 'Jed's Other Poem' are complex studies of the issue of artificial intelligence, and are far more beautiful and deep than Spielberg's A.I could ever have been.

The cover art reflects these concerns, with broken keyboard keys forming the title and band name over a stunning cold backdrop of mountains and meadows. Wonderful.

In all, a perfect piece of art, one that should adorn any self-respecting music fan's shelf. Unmissable.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2004
...and I'm wrong. In my earlier review(posted just a few short days ago)I blasted the album for being slow and pondering. However, I decided to give it a second chance and after repeated listenings it has most ceratinly grown on me.
I first realised this when I found myself singing 'He's simple, he's dumb, he's the pilot' to myself at work. At home, 'The Sophtware Slump' has found a home for itself in my stereo. I bounce merrily along to 'Chartsengrafs' and nod sagely along to the wisdom of 'Underneath the Weeping Willow'. I've grown to tolerate 'Jed The Humanoid', and 'Jeds Other Poem' is beautifully written ("You said I'd wake up dead drunk on the side of the road / I called you a liar - but how right you were") - and hearin lies the strength of Grandaddy. The song hooks aren't that obvious at first, but they sow seeds in your brain and subconciously infect you until you submit. The lyrics are also superbly off-kilter ("Tyre scraps on the federal rows look like crash-landed crows" - 'Miner At The Dial-a-View') and make a delicious alternative to the usual 'fell in love with a boy/girl/sheep and then lost them, oh my heart etc' dross that most bands come up with these days.
I still hold to my beliefs that 'Broken Household Appliance National Forest' should never have been created, but all-in-all I now consider this album to be sheer poetry. What are you still reading this for??? Go buy the album now you fools!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2000
yet another album bought after hearing one track on the radio (the crystal lake) and hearing a record of the week last year on mark and lard (a.m 180). i resisted the temptation to forward to the aforementioned single and started from the beginning. its a lot gentler and melodic than i expected from the various parallels i'd read. the first two tracks are quite simply beautiful and by the time my favourite 'the crystal lake' begins with its booming guitar line, i'd forgotten that this was the reason i'd bought the album in the first place. i defy you not to turn track four up as far as it will go. this deserves to be a hit, but it won't be, of course. they show a superb ear for a delicate tune and aren't afraid to use quirky effects that would sound twee elsewhere, but work superbly well here. surprisingly sensitive with jason lytle's fragile voice threatening to break at any time. this could be the future of accessible alternative music, because it's far out enough to please a lot of 'us', but its tuneful enough to reach an awful lot more of 'them'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2008
My first taste of Grandaddy and very pleasant it as been too. I came to them via Midlake, which is probably contrary to most other people as I think it was Grandaddy that influenced Midlake and not vice versa. Irrespective of how I got here,it has been worth the journey and I shall be searching out more of their albums.

I suppose this is labelled as psychedelic rock - the tempo is slow and the music based around swirling synthesisers which cast a hypnotic and entrancing effect. Gorgeous vocals to boot, very laid-back and melodic.

In a word - gorgeous!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Could be a great themed soundtrack from a sci fi movie,could be an early warning of an ecological disaster.Most certainly is a concept album of the highest order,gentle,beautiful & emotional.A complete album in every sense,deserves to be listened to over & over again & its underlying message will have a profound effect.Very Highly Recommended,more than just Excellent,it is bordering on Perfection
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 16 February 2001
I was a bit surprised to see someone thought the first album was brilliant but this was not so good. I'd suggest they keep listening. I've heard it through about seven times now and it gets better every time which is a good sign of a great album.
For the uninitiated, it sounds like it has influences of Neil Young, The Pixies & ELO. I liked the sound of it on first listen but I like it much better now - it grows on you.
This fully deserves 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2010
I bought this album at the recommendation of a friend who's musical taste I was dubious about. Having listened to this, I have been forced to reconsider!

I put it on as soon as it came through the door on my day off from work, so decided to give it the full benefit of my attention and listened to it in bed. Before long, it had lulled me back to sleep, but I believe it is a testament to the beautiful, melancholic compositions present that it did. Having listened to it almost constantly since, I still can't hear enough about Jed the android, the finest robot since Marvin from Hitchhiker's.

Really recommended, a fantastically unusual and inventive album with all of the lulling capabilities of a down-beat electronica band, with added vocal charm. Buy this.
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