Stand Out Albums has been a showcase for my favorite albums across the vast performers that I love. Covering a little bit of everything from classic rock to country hits, much like Key Movies of My Life, it has been the albums that shaped me.
Today we discuss the 2015 release, Evermotion. So, let’s get started shall we? Oh yeah, Ryan’s hanging with us today again and will chime in for sure.
Why This Album?
This album came out when I lived in Virginia working for a fairly well known website at the time. While there I met others who were Guster fans and, not long after the release of this very album, we went to see this fabulous band in concert. Opening with the opening track on this album, Long Night, the band went through a song from pretty much every album they had released up to that point, including one of my all time favorites, Demons, from Goldfly. While this album is really solid, I think it was hearing several of these tracks live is what really sold me to how wonderful this album really was.
This is a much more subdued and relaxed album than their previous releases, bordering on some of the more psychedelic Beatles tunes than anything they had ever recorded before. This can really be felt in their track Lazy Love that slips deeply into that 60’s vibe with some tremendous bass riffs that just bop. The thing that really stands out on this album is that Guster really seem to be on the verge of a new evolution as a band, adding in some surreal and ethereal sounds that edge them out of pop and lands them somewhere in the alternative experimental realm and, honestly, it works very well. There is a certain complexity to this album that really fits the boys of Guster like a glove and only serves to enhance the greatness that they have already shown us.
Overall, I really think this is the start to a new sound for Guster that we will keep seeing in their next release that we will discuss next week. While I don’t believe they have completely abandoned their guitar pop origins, to see that they are willing to experiment even after 20 years of playing together shows that there is no stopping this band from being something special each and every time.
So, Ryan, what are your thoughts on Evermotion?
Ok, so I completely slept on this one. I didn’t actually know it existed until after Look Alive came out.
Yeah, like I said last week, this was a dark time in my Guster fandom. How had I let this happen? How had I gone from Motormouth the Guster Rep with a “Guster is for Lovers” bumper sticker on my car to completely missing an entire album release?
Yeah, I got nothin’.
Ok, with that self-immolation out of the way, let’s talk Evermotion! It’s a good album! Like, really good! Guster set out to make something that didn’t sound like anything they had done before, and they succeeded. There’s sort of a dream-pop thing happening on this album that’s different, but not unwelcome. Swirling synths, vocal effects, and some almost Polyphonic Spree levels of trippiness _I’m looking at you “I’m Never Coming Down”).
It may not be my favorite album, but there’s some solid material here! If I was a few years late in hearing this, well, danged if it wasn’t worth the wait!
Kid Dreams is one that really speaks to me as it talks about how most of us felt at one point. Too shy to talk, teased, and more. We just wanted someone to save us…and sometimes they do show up…
It is Just What It Is. Man, this is another one that is just so familiar and somehow Guster is able to tap into my brain…. anyhow…this is good stuff
Doin’ It By Myself. This is one they played live in that concert and, boy did it really hit just right. It’s a little dirty if you really read between the lines but…still…so good.
Ryan here with the undisputed best song on the album. The banger that starts everything, “Long Night.” The instrumentation is tight–Brian’s subdued drumming, Adam’s killer guitar work, Ryan’s Glockenspiel, and Luke holding it all down with that smooth bass line. The vocals are amazing (at some points it sounds to me like Ryan is channeling his inner James Mercer); the harmony vocal is subtle but palpable!
Ok, Where do I get it?
You can grab the LP version here from our friends at Amoeba Music. Or, as usual…just listen here.
Next week we come to the latest in the Guster discography (as of these reviews) with…. Look Alive.
Late to the Game 8/17/2021
Thanks for reading, If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also check out some retro tv goodness with the ongoing series Retro TV Reviews here. You can also find a few of my other Music Reviews Here.
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