CD REVIEW: Guster "Easy Wonderful"

Easy Wonderful [+digital booklet]
The bottom line is that Guster has created one of the best 5 albums of 2010. That being said, how exactly did they do it? They took the best elements of their band and their music and their experiences from their previous five albums and mashed them all together, mixed them with a bit of surprise, and wrapped them all up in a package that they had full control of producing. Guster is one of the hardest working bands in the music industry and they have managed to gain incredible success while remaining just below the radar. The album's first single, "Do You Love Me?" is a familiar Guster track with a bit more of a traditional pop feel. The entire album features Guster taking some twists and turns and introducing some unfamiliar elements into the mix like the use of new instruments such as the harmonica and ukulele. The banjo makes a prominent reappearance in two songs, "This Is How It Feels To Have A Broken Heart" and "Hercules," and keyboards and pianos are featured throughout the album. The instrumentation throughout the entire disc seems a bit more orchestral than in the past. Many of the songs are sure to become staples in Guster's live setlists, especially "What You Call Love," "Bad, Bad World," and "This Could All Be Yours." The album's lead track, "Architects & Engineers," is a perfect addition to the band's repertoire and sets the tone of the entire album. The disc makes a departure from the band's traditional roots rock and features much less hand percussion (the band's first 3 albums featured it almost exclusively) and much more drum set. Guster has also included two more songs featuring Jesus in the title ("Jesus & Mary," "Stay With Me Jesus"), tripling their total number of Jesus songs as of now. The band plans on releasing a music video for each of the 12 tracks on the album, and there are four bonus tracks featured on several digital and physical editions of the disc. Guster is a band that does not compromise their music to fit any mold or any genre or any trend. They have made yet another awesome album and have proven that they can still make new and exciting music that doesn't sound like everything else they've released before. Guster's music is a magnificent experience that everyone should have in their lives, and despite the band's excellent past musical endeavors, their newest album is definitely going to create enough buzz to create a whole new generation of Guster fans.