The organic antidote to Radiohead’s Kid A, Grandaddy’s sophomore album (get it?) tackled acoustically – and with a hell of a lot of synths – the nature vs. technology diptych that occupied the minds of just about everyone in the shadow of Y2K. Telling a loosely-knit tale of a robot named Jed (a cyborg Pinocchio, real emotions inside a metal casing), The Sophtware Slump is the decade’s first folk-pop masterpiece. Grandaddy spent the rest of the decade making similarly-minded treatistes on man’s attachment to machine, but this still stands as undoubtedly their finest moment.
If it sounds like treading similar territory to Kid A, it’s close, but with one big difference in particular (let alone released six months previous). Where Thom Yorke & Co.’s soundscapes remained for the most part chilly and damning (electric misanthropy which, in many respects, the past decade lived up to), Grandaddy’s cyborg-ridden landscape was one instilled, from start-to-finish, with the warmth of the human heart.