Guster: Easy Wonderful

Guster: Easy Wonderful
In high school, the same kids that loved Phish and Dave Matthews Band also loved Guster. That has always left a bad taste in my mouth when thinking about the band. The band is calling their new album, Easy Wonderful, a career highlight and it is not just for patchouli-stank neo-hippies.
The album’s opening track “Architects & Engineers” sets the album’s breezy summer mood which is ill-timed considering summer is coming to a close much around the country. The track’s acoustic guitars reminds me of Nada Surf‘s “Blizzard of 77” but in a major key. What really sets the mood is the woos on the chorus that remind me a little of the opening of The Shins‘ “New Slang” with a more peppy feel to it.
The peppy feel of the album is pretty pervasive. Even tracks like “Bad Bad World” that have completely different genre-feel keep up the pep. The track sounds like Maroon 5 with an alt-country twang. The track does contain the same type of woos in the chorus as “Architects & Engineers” though, just to preserve continuity.
But there is almost always an evil side to summery music and that comes out on tracks like “That’s No Way To Get To Heaven” and “What You Call Love”. “What You Call Love” in particular features almost the exact same instrumentation as that horrid Train song that is every commercial. At best the song could be called commercial and at worst could be called annoying bohemian.
I think that might be the best way to describe Easy Wonderful. The album is peppy and certainly has commercial appeal but it is meant to appeal to people who wear flip-flops and puka shell necklaces all summer and drink sangria on their back porch while contemplating a beach bonfire in the evening. It is all a little too white for me. Sorry.
Rating: 3.7/10
MP3: Guster “Architects & Engineers”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!