Guster
Keep It Together


4.5
superb

Review

by The Katz brothers USER (183 Reviews)
June 12th, 2006 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Guster is one of those bands I cannot fathom hating. They aren’t one of my favorite bands, like Radiohead, nor are they hyped like crazy. I didn’t discover them through Rolling Stone magazine or even Sputnik, I found them through my local record store, something that isn’t done nearly enough these days. The reason I cannot fathom hating Guster is their music. It is calm, poppy and has moments of pure acoustic genius. After a long day of hanging out, listening to overly distorted guitars, heavy bass and rocking drums listening to Guster always seems like the right thing to do.

Guster is very much an acoustic band, their sound reminds me of that glasses wearing nerdy singer-songwriter who is always on the bill of your local café/club’s open mike night. An acoustic guitar is present in almost if not all of the tracks on Guster’s 4th full length, Keep it Together , and most of the time is the main focus. On the occasional track such as super catchy, key single, Amsterdam, mildly overdriven guitars are brought in for a fuller, more rocking sound. Bass is present on most songs as is standard, but many of the tunes on Keep it Together wouldn’t be complete without auxiliary percussion. Tracks like the relaxing, catchy up-beat, Careful, feature quite a lot of hand percussion, from bongos to tambourines to god knows what else. Also present on Careful is a mellow EP (electric piano, fool) great guitar/bass playing and fantastic songwriting. The lead singer sings as great as the music is. His voice is catchy and nice, based on his voice alone I would be friends with him.

From songs like Careful and Amsterdam it is apparent that Guster doesn’t take their song writing lightly. They write good pop tunes, that’s for sure, but don’t take that the wrong way. Though their music isn’t complex they are really well written songs. Most songs have a standard Alt/Indie feel but have some reggae and world influences (The hand percussion on ‘Homecoming King’ for example) making this a perfect album to listen to whilst walking on the beach or something like that. Classic Rock also makes itself present in the whistling rocker, ‘Red Oyster Cult’. Guster even takes country influences and mixes them into their blend of Indie, Rock and Pop, ala Wilco. Jesus on the Radio features a nifty banjo riff and bangin’ harmonies. The lyrics feature the perfect mix of standard topics and off beat notations. Adjectives I could use to describe the lyrics on nearly every song on are: cleverly written and easy (and) to sing along to.

Guster has just the lineup to pull off their eclectic influences, two talented (but not show-offy) guitarists one of which doubles as a skilled vocalist, a superb percussion (I don’t mean just standard drums) player and a great multi-instrumentalist to clean things up. Without each member the band would be hindered, unlike say Hawthorne Heights where you could shoot two guitarists in the head and live shows would still sound the same. Keep it Together itself is a masterpiece, barely anything stops it from being a five, besides the occasional filler/sub par track. It mixes nearly every style of music capable of being played on an acoustic guitar with ease and pop-sensibility. Perfect for walking on the beach, singing along to in the shower or almost anything else, Guster’s Keep it Together is a superb album and I highly recommend it to any fans of lighter acoustic Indie Rock.

4.5/5

-Dan



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user ratings (79)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Zebra
Moderator
June 12th 2006


2647 Comments


I think that this band is just a crappier version of Wilco, but I've only heard two or three songs by them. Good work on the review,it was nice and brief.

mx
Moderator
June 13th 2006


733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is an awesome album, awesome band. Seen them live 3 times on this tour, and they're even better then =)

Hewitt
June 13th 2006


371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review for a good cd. I love this band, they're awesome live show too. I saw them in NYC and they opened for themselves dressed up as a different band and called themselves "Trippin Balls." It was pretty awesome.

metallicaman8
June 13th 2006


4677 Comments


Nice work, dude. Got my vote :thumb:

Hatshepsut
June 13th 2006


1997 Comments


Great review.

Laafe
June 13th 2006


347 Comments


excellent review. im gonna check this out

stompybeardo
June 14th 2006


746 Comments


this'l be one of the next cds i look for, the sign of a good review.

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2010


10510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i fucking love this album

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2010


8012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a-mazing album

mallen-
February 21st 2011


1235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just as good as Lost and Gone Forever

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2011


10510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

first one i heard, ramona is probs my favorite guster song

mallen-
March 3rd 2011


1235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just realized I Hope Tomorrow Is Like Today was in Wedding Crashers. Great song.

jtswope
December 14th 2013


2373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah ramona might be the best guster song ever



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