I don't know what it is about this band but their strange tales of childlike melancholia told with such charm and unrivalled innocence do something beautiful to me and I am so upset to hear that this will be the last little gem they will be offering the world. This fact considered, it is hard to listen to this without getting all sad and retrospective. This feeling is laid on thick from the first track; 'What Happened..' is a simple yet effective opener comprising of various children asking the question What happened to the family cat? This summons up all the emotions necessary to make this album work for you, a sense of regret, loss and a childhood long passed. However we are soon firmly shaken out of this self-pity by Jeez Louise and we remember all the good times we had with this band. It is impossible to listen to this album and not interpret Jason Lytles lyrics as explanations for the break-up. Rear View Mirror hints at the frustration of a journey spent forever looking back and once you get over the initial disappointment that this is not a cover of the Pearl Jam classic of the same name it soon becomes the standout track on the album. Elevate Myself is a fantastic casio-drumbeat manifesto on exactly why Lytle is doing what hes doing. Among his wants and dont wants he claims I dont wanna be a part of all the quality that falls apart these days.
Initially I was quite disappointed with 2003s Sumday feeling it lacked the quirky elements I so enjoyed in The Software Slump. I soon revised this opinion as the beauty took hold and although a lot of the songs on
Fambly Cat would fit comfortably on Sumday it does go some way to bridge the gap. Its a pretty up and down affair in general, with Little feeling sorry for himself one minute then, as in the glorious semi-instrumental Skateboarding Saves Me Twice, telling us that everything will be just fine.
I cant help listening to the last track This Is How It Always Starts without thinking of those terrible compilation moments that Gary Lineker shows us as England inevitably and unjustly exit the World Cup. The songs they pick (usually REMs Everybody Hurts) guide us through the highs and lows of a great yet ultimately tragic journey and you could imagine a similar compilation of Grandaddys best moments set to this beautiful and soaring finale marking the end to a truly wonderful journey. And this album as a whole could be those highlights. On Elevate Myself Little states Id rather make an honest sound, watch it fly around and be on my way. And thats exactly what he has done. His sound will continue to fly and I wish him good luck.