Guster’s Evermotion Fails to Impress

It’s a little difficult to wrap your head around the fact that Guster have been playing together since 1991, but their latest album Evermotion shows a cool knowledge of their strengths. The album shows a concerted effort to stick to their relaxed tone while still moving forward. With all the warmth that comes from acoustic guitars and Guster’s signature proclivity for complex and nontraditional percussion, Evermotion is a solid reintroduction to Guster after a five year gap between albums, but not much more than that.

“Long Night” is a winding, contemplative opener that helps the listener glide into the album with Guster’s signature cool sound. By “Doin’ It By Myself,” the groove begins to kick in and the album kicks off. Between the distinct percussion (bongos and tambourine plainly apparent throughout) and the chill, peaceful vibes with a handful of electric guitar riffs thrown in, the themes of the album make themselves apparent. “Lazy Love” picks up the guitar game a little more, harkening back to the more involved bass and guitar refrains from 2006’s Ganging Up on the Sun.

The album’s single “Simple Machine” clearly belongs with its contemporaries Ra Ra Riot, Vampire Weekend, The Shins, and Foster the People. With funky synth beat, pulsing vocals, and interlocking keyboard vamps, “Simple Machine” brings the album a fresh perspective. No surprise, considering that the album was produced by The Shins’ keyboardist Richard Swift. The spacey, echoey vibe continues in songs like “Gangway,” giving the album a distinct Shins feel, recalling albums like Wincing the Night Away (2007).

“Kid Dreams” has the most fun with lyrics, playfully rhyming every line: So there I was, fifteen, stuck in/ High school was no prom king/ Zoned out in a daydream of a/ Pretty girl, my own beauty queen. Lyrically, it brings back the joy that “Simple Machine” introduces earlier.

Evermotion is a little one note, but it’s a good note. The band’s sound is established and practiced, leaving little room for experimentation at this point. However, more variation would make this album really pop. As it stands, the album is lacking in a lot of respects. Evermotion is fine, but not much more than that.

Image courtesy of the artist

 

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