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Guster: Evermotion

gusterGuster
Evermotion
(Ocho Mule/Nettwerk Records)

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Did you know that Guster was still a band? I have to admit that they were never an act that I kept tabs on, but they have continued to keep the alt rock flag held aloft for more than twenty years. Don’t think of them as ’90s holdovers though. Evermotion sees the band leave behind not only their major label but also a more conventional sound. Many newly freed artists go in a raw, edgy direction, but Guster have embraced the psychedelic to dreamy effect.

Several of the tracks on Evermotion evoke a sense of renewed self-confidence. “Doin’ It By Myself” goes so far as to say “the game is fixed/But that’s being alive,” but the accusation sounds matter-of-fact rather than harsh. Horns lift the track into a sense of triumph. “Simple Machine” reaffirms this evolution (“I am not a simple machine/I have become something else”), but electronic beats, emphatic percussion, and belted vocals make for complex listening. The gentle, piano-led track “It Is Just What It Is” shows off good nature in the face of life’s struggle.

Arguably the most charming song on the album is “Farewell.” On its surface, it is a very obvious closer, but soulful vocals, beautiful piano, and subdued instrumentation make this a song to remember. Guster have embraced a new sound, but at their heart, they’re still a solid band who can pierce to the heart with their work.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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