Monday, November 12, 2012

#114: Guster - Keep it Together (2003)

I had the pleasure of discovering Guster in concert. Guster teamed up with Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright to create one of the most magical nights I had ever seen some summers ago in Columbus, Ohio. Their sound is filled with big harmonies, acoustic guitars, and a lot of percussion (instead of a drum kit).

When they played this song live, that's when I fell in love with them. The acoustic guitar mixes beautifully with the edge of a few electric guitars to create a rock feel. The percussion throughout the album is top notch, it still plays typical drum parts but it has a completely different feel to it. However, it's the chorus that's completely butter. I absolutely adore the harmonies and the lyrics. It's one of their most versatile songs, it changes without fear and keeps the listener engaged throughout.

Homecoming King
It's the groove of the bass that does it for me on this track. The guitars do a wonderful job off adding so much to the overall feel, but it's the percussion and the bass that keep this track driving. While I may not have listened to this album in at least five years, I remember it all exactly as I left it. So while I may not be enjoying it as "new music" it's a testament to how many times I've played this record.

It's always been one of my favorite Guster tracks. It's a little more subdued and little more relaxed. However, it's the lyrics that I've always gravitated towards. At times, it's not ingenious by any stretch but it's so incredibly effective, "Ramona, you're Miss Oklahoma and you miss Oklahoma." The Guster harmonies, though, are incredible throughout this track and throughout the record.

All in all, I enjoyed it. It just didn't have the magic that I remember it having. That's not to say that it's still not incredibly good, it's just that looking back - I really must have overplayed this album. Then again, some songs sucked me back in like the first listen (see: 'Jesus on the Radio' and 'Come Downstairs and Say Hello'). If you've never heard of Guster then they're absolutely worth checking out. They've released a few albums since 'Keep it Together' and I think I just may have to pick them up.

Tomorrow's album: Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisted.

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