Jason Lytle will admit through his lyrics that this is not a triumphant return, but his reemergence back to the indie, alt-country, southwestern music scene is certainly redeeming. Rather than further eulogizing the dissolution of Grandaddy, Jason has reified his talent through his new solo album Yours Truly, The Commuter. Not only is it a lo-fi production continuing the Grandaddy vision of natural wonder surrounded with crunchy guitars and ethereal overtones, but it’s also a statement. Lytle, in his pursuit of serenity, is here for the long-haul, not as a rock star, but as an artist.
The overall theme of the album is somewhat a continuation of Grandaddy’s What Happened to the Fambly Cat, where Lytle is not subtle about never being able to return to his Shangri-La, geographical or otherwise. The Commuter, however, stresses the classic idea of having the destination matter less than the actual journey, and it is in this journey that Lytle realizes the heroism of the ability to keep pushing on rather than cling to fleeting paradise.
As the album progresses the landscape changes from the typical earthy Grandaddy sound of intertwined guitar, synth and subtle percussion to the takeoff of ethereal chords and extended, up-close confessionals. Plenty of standout tracks on this one; mine include Brand New Sun, Ghost of My Old Dog, Rollin’ Home Alone, Flying Thru Canyons and Here for Good. It’s an album that gathers an emotional momentum, but soon dissipates, for it’s typical of Lytle: all his intention is to make an honest sound, watch it fly around, and then be on his way.