Album Review Grandaddy – Blu Wav

4.5/5

In 1992, Grandaddy was founded by Jason Lytle, drummer Aaron Burtch, and former bassist Kevin Garcia, and 27 years passed since their well-received debut album Under the Western Freeway. The band split in 2006 before reuniting in 2012. Six years after Last Way, Grandaddy marks their return with their new album Blu Wav, a title that is a mash-up of Bluegrass and New Wave. This record serves as the first album without former bassist Kevin Garcia, who tragically passed away in 2017. The album consists of 13 tracks and has you entertained for 45 minutes. 

Blu Wav opens the album with an acoustic guitar and hopeful lyrics, “Blu Wav, it’s a new day, open your eyes and your laptop to the sunrise.” Then we have the song “You’re Going To Be Fine, And I’m Going To Hell,” a straightforward song that touches on Lytle’s divorce. Still, there’s no bitterness as he sings, “It’s been a bad year, but I’ve made it here, with this last thing to tell /. You’re going to be fine, and I’m going to hell” before a wave of synths washes over us and became an all-time favorite here. 

“Watercooler,” the first single they released back in 2023, is my favorite single. The drums are a bit more upbeat compared to the previous songs. “Yeehaw Ai In The Year 2025” starts as a beautiful piano ballad but is instrumental throughout, which is an exciting part of the album. I don’t know why, but it works! Then there’s a somber “East Yosemite” with soft lyrics accompanied by a piano, which is breathtaking all the way through. “Blu Wav Buh Bye” closes the album with another instrumental masterpiece. 

I like the album and questioned early on how I would describe it, but it certainly lives up to the Bluegrass and New Wave description. While this isn’t Grandaddy’s most memorable album, hearing them continuously develop and own their sound is exciting. The album is very cohesive. The track “Yeehaw Ai In The Year 2025” was one I found incredibly pleasant. And I felt the track was an excellent palette cleanser for a full album.

You can buy it here.

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