Like most bands, I discovered Guster by accident. It was Volume 57 of CMJ New Music Monthly and the song was The Airport Song. I used to buy the magazine every chance I got, with each volume you would get a cd filled with new songs from bands that a young man in a small texas town would likely have never heard of had it not been for this magazine. This song came from their second album entitled Goldfly. Based on this single song, I searched for this album, bought it and fell in love with a band that would become one of my most listened to bands for many years to come.
Today we are not talking about Goldfly, no the album I want to talk about is Keep It Together and why this is one of my Stand Out Albums.
Why This Album?
This is one of those albums that is just perfect. Every track gorgeously slides into the next transposing between upbeat rock songs and stripped down introspective tunes.
I found this album several years after discovering Goldfly. They had evolved much since those days and, to me, for the better. Now a tighter and more polished group, Guster had found a voice that spoke to you in ways you would never imagine that music could. Utilizing a multitude of instruments including banjo, guitar, piano and more, Guster brings together songs of hope, despair, redemption, life and love all under the cover art of a hummingbird.
I still find myself listening to this album in its entirety more and more frequently. It bring back feelings of hope in times when I really don’t know what I am doing. One thing that really stands out about Guster is that they always manage to have a positive message in their music and seem to keep it clean without even trying too hard. Their mantra seems to be about just making good music and they do so without falling into the trappings of being offensive or using obscene language just to do it. I appreciate this more and more as it has become so easy for someone to drop an f-bomb just for the sake of cursing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have been known to curse like a sailor and feel that foul language has its place but for a band keep it clean while keeping it together, I just find that really impressive.
There are so many, but the three that really stand out to me are these.
Track 9: Come Downstairs and Say Hello.
There is a line in this track that I have played in my head over and over at times in my life where i am facing major change. The lyric is this:
“To tell you the truth, I’ve said it before
Tomorrow I start in a new direction
I know I’ve been half-asleep
I’m never doing that again
I look straight at what’s coming ahead
and soon its going to change in a new direction”
Here is the song:
Next up is literally the next track. It’s called the Red Oyster Cult and it is just a cool song.
Finally, One of the more hopeful and fulfilling songs on the album, Track 12, I hope Tomorrow is Like Today. It is about finding someone or something you live and wanting to hold onto that moment forever. It is a song I can fully identify with so many times over. It is pretty magical.
The rest of the album is quite good, but these three are my favorite. I invite you to try out the whole album. Let it play and just drift off in the vocal stylings of Ryan Miller and Adam Gardner.
Ok, Where do I get it?
This is an album that you can pick up at most record stores, but you may have to special order it. You can also just listen to it on Spotify as they have two version, the original and the ten year anniversary edition. Both are pretty awesome.
They are also really amazing live. I saw them live a few years back and they blew me away with their music and stage presence. If you happen to get a chance to see them in concert, give it a go. You’ll thank me later.
Late to the Game 5/22/2018
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