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.
While, I wrote about this album when it first came out so it’s nice to go back and revisit it a few years later. Plus, we have my buddy Ryan to chime in on it this time so, here we go.
Why This Album?
This is the most recent release from the band Guster (at the time of article) and, as I said in my original review, this is certainly something special. This album continues their evolution that started in Evermotion but subtly adds their pop sensibilities back in with effortless ease. At times, they have a Beatle-esque vibe but also seem to touch on some ELO with songs like Mr Sun (which almost feels like a response to Mr Blue Sky).
Ryan Miller and Adam Gardner give this album their full effort making it a nearly perfect album and, as I said in my original review, it almost feels like this is thier Abbey Road and, frankly, I hope this is just their way of marking the beginning of something new and not subtly announcing that they are through. Apparently they have been recording some things as of late but…since we did just go through a Pandemic that doesn’t seem to be letting up as fast as we had hoped….well lets just hope they take a nod from the Postal Service and use…well…the Postal Service to get these tracks together.
It’s hard to claim any single album as my favorite Guster album (although Keep It Together comes very close) but Look Alive is certainly one of my favorites. I love it when a band comes together (heh) to make something so beautiful, and this certainly fits that bill.
So Ryan, what do you think of this one?
This was the album that got me excited about Guster again! Where Evermotion marked new sonic territory for the band, Look Alive sees the band planting their flag in the ground. It’s experimental, a little weird at times, but really makes a bold statement. Look Alive is a far cry from the acoustic coffee shop pop from which the band started, but still feels recognizably Guster.
Thanks, Kheas, for inviting me to join you on this journey in revisiting Guster!
Hello Mister Sun: I just ADORE how fun this song it. Starting off slower and chill Beatles Here Comes the Sun only to slid into some ELO inspired bliss. It’s tremendous.
Summertime is a little different at first but quickly turns into what you would expect from a Guster tune. Just trust me.
Mind Kontrol This song feels even more valid now than ever before. Just listen to it….it’s creepy.
The other Ryan from Texas here with a final couple of recommendations:
“Overexcited” is… Baffling. Ryan is singing with a Cockney accent because… why not, I guess? Yeah, I don’t really know what’s going on here, but I love it!
And finally “Hard Times,” which may be my favorite Guster song… Ever. It’s built around Ryan’s experimenting with running his vocals through one of his guitar pedals, giving it that dreamy sound. And the down-tuned guitar really sets the mood here. But Adam’s vocal on the choruses is the star of the show here; in that sense, feels like a return to the earlier days of Ryan and Adam sharing vocal duties.
Ok, Where do I get it?
You can get this one from our friends at Amoeba or… listen to it here. Just a tip, there is a bonus track on the CD that you can’t get digitally on this particular album…
So…there we go. Where will this music review blog head next? well…come back next week and see!!! Till then…
Late to the Game 8/24/2021
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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