Bursting on to the sonic scene with the driving "Great Escape," Guster's major-label debut quickly mellows into the insightfully deceptive "Demon" and the island chock of "Perfect" before revving back up to the strikingly produced "Airport Song." Though the album has many high points, this first single is the highest. Drifting in like a distant storm, this cryptic offering erupts into a seething and impressively arranged explosion. Combining the trio's competent guitar, bass, and hand percussion with a variety of accents ranging from strings to screams (not to mention a Ping-Pong ball coda), "Airport" is a shut-up-and-crank-it song which grabs the listener by the ears and reveals itself further with each triumphant listening. Fortunately, the album does not give up after this early peak. Though many of the songs are ambiguous in terms of verse-chorus contiguity and overall meaning, the rich and simple vocal and instrumental layering is clear and effective. Combining peppy sways and dances like "Perfect" and "Grin" with wild antic raves such as "Bury Me" and the gentle closer "Rocketship," Goldfly leaves little doubt as to why the band continues to sell out venues in their New England home and beyond.
- Release Date:
- Warner Bros Mod Afw
Performance CreditsGuster Primary Artist
Davey Faragher Bass
John Ferraro Drums
Steve Lindsey Organ,Synthesizer,Hammond Organ
Adam Gardner Guitar,Vocals
Ryan Miller Guitar,Vocals
Brian Rosenworcel Percussion,Vocals
Andy Happel Violin
Rudy Dicello Cello
Technical CreditsSteve Lindsey Producer,Contributor
David Schiffman Engineer
Leanne Ungar Engineer
Andy Happel String Arrangements
Andre Champagne Engineer
Amiru Mino Poetry
Robert Hamilton Art Direction
David Bryant Engineer
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The Boston-based bongo-pop band Guster has made their name the old-fashioned way: they¿ve toured for it, tirelessly, from their inception in 1992 straight through to the present. (Just for the record, they also made their name by changing it ¿ from its original, more economical incarnation, Gus.) Like their Frequent Driver Miles brethren Barenaked Ladies and Dave Matthews Band, Guster has grown gradually ¿ and organically ¿ from the grassroots, their reputation as a live-wire live act disseminated to the masses with airport-Hare Krishna, flower-child fervor by their H.O.R.D.E. of rabid, Internet-savvy fans (for the record: ¿Reps¿). Still, unless you count yourself a chronic East Coast club-goer, odds are you¿ve never heard of Guster, let alone had the chance to sample their music. For those in this boat, the succeeding recipe for Guster gumbo (hold the okra) comes courtesy of Martha Stewart¿s newest how-to: Melting Pot Magic: All-Inclusive Cooking Made EZ ¿ 1. In crock pot, combine finely chopped Counting Crows and stripped-to-the-gills Phish (Blowfish acceptable, but not recommended) with hearty stock of beef-seasoned Blues Traveler 2. Sweeten with squeeze of Lemonheads and pinch of Sugar (¿Believe What You¿re Saying¿) 3. Add dash of Dishwalla (¿Counting Blue Cars¿) 4. Sprinkle discriminatingly with crushed Vic Chesnutt(s) 5. Simmer and serve with chilled Gin Blossoms-and-Tonic (¿If You Could Only See¿) All snarkiness aside, Goldfly, Guster¿s second recorded effort, is perfectly pleasant pop. The songs are sturdy; the hooks are happenin¿; and the harmonies are, unquestionably, harmonious. Credit eccentrically eclectic producer/keyboardist Steve Lindsey (the man¿s worked with everyone from Waylon Jennings to Joni Mitchell; Ray Charles to the Chipmunks) for punching up Guster¿s traditionally stripped, They Might Be Giants-style jest-fests. Kudos also to primary lyricist Ryan Miller for his willingness to mine some decidedly deeper and darker shafts than he has in the past ¿ repeatedly seeking sanctuary and escape in isolation, selfishness, and suicide. Goldfly is no half-naked, frat-haze frolic in the river Mystic. Its heart is dark. Its bongwater undertow: undeniable. Equally undeniable, unfortunately, is the overwhelming sense of ¿been there/heard that¿ that haunts these 10+ songs like the Ghost of Alt-Pop Past. ¿Medicine¿ cribs shamelessly from Crowded House¿s ¿World Where You Live,¿ ¿Grin¿ sounds like Neil Finn sitting in with Rusted Root, ¿Bury Me¿ exhumes Del Amitri¿s ¿Roll To Me,¿ and ¿X-Ray Eyes¿ finds itself simultaneously blunted and blinded by its pocketful-of-Kryptonite, kissing cousin resemblance to Ben Folds Five¿s ¿Brick.¿ Bear in mind: It often takes time for ¿live¿ acts to successfully translate their on-stage antics and alchemy to the comparatively moribund medium of magnetic tape. Some never do (on disc, Phish flounder and the Grateful Dead often sound embalmed). But Guster are young yet. Time is on their side. On the defiant suicide sonata ¿Rocketship,¿ Miller insists: ¿[I] cannot stand to be one of many/I¿m not what they are.¿ That¿s fine, Ryan. Now prove it. The old-fashioned way. Earn it.
This is a great album. Everyone to whom I have loaned it to has loved it and purchased their own copy (with the exception of one poor misguided soul) . Ignore the negative review and buy this album now!!!!
Guster's sound shifts away from mainstream formulated pop and gives its listeners something they crave: good music. The songs are rich in sound, arrangement and style.
Even though I listened to "Lost and Gone Forever" before I listened to "Goldfly", I still totally think it was worth the wait!
This is a wonderful CD. If you like Dispatch, you will probably like Guster. They are similar, but Guster is brighter and more upbeat. I love their lyrics, but their music is even better. It is the kind of album that makes you want to get up and dance around with your friends. The opening track, Great Escape, is upbeat and fun. A great song to begin your morning. Demons, track two, is more laid back with a solid acoustic feel and soulful lyrics about how lying is sometimes easier than the truth. This is the song I bought the album for and remains one of my favorites. Other favorites include Tracks 6, 7, 9, and 10. The entire CD is exceptional, as Guster manages to have a consistent sound while still having each song sound unique.