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New Album Features A Grown-Up Guster

New Album Features A Grown-Up GusterWith the release of a new album with a classic pop feel, Guster – a rock band with Tufts roots – has found a new sound.

Boston [06.26.06] For Tufts graduates Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner and Brian Rosenworcel, the days of playing at the Hotung Café in the Tufts Campus Center are “Lost and Gone Forever.” As they celebrate the release of their seventh album and prepare for a national summer tour, the founding members of the popular rock group Guster say their music has come a long way.

“We’ve rejected acoustic guitars and bongos as part of our creative process now,” Miller recently told the Boston Herald, referring to sounds that characterize the group’s early albums, including their first big-label debut “Lost and Gone Forever” (1999). “One of the reasons that we still have a career is because we constantly reject what we’ve just done.”

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That has been the case since the group came together at Tufts in the early 1990s. Throughout the past decade, Miller, Gardner and Rosenworcel – who met during freshmen orientation and were graduated from Tufts in 1995 – have matured, along with their music. “Ganging Up On The Sun,” which was released on June 20, is proof.

“Like The Beatles and The Kinks, these college rockers have graduated beyond the simple catchiness of their early work,” the Associated Press reported. The Boston Herald added that Guster’s latest release “fits on the shelf between Coldplay and the Shins (or even the Beatles and Elvis Costello).”

According to the band, which now also includes a fourth member, multi-instrumentalist Joe Pisapia, “Ganging Up On The Sun” is a leap into uncharted musical territory for them.

“The last record [“Keep It Together”] was about not being limited instrumentally,” Gardner, a guitarist and vocalist, told the Associated Press. “This one is about not being limited musically or genre-wise. It definitely stretches in a lot of directions, yet it still holds together as a collection.…I don’t think we were entirely sure we could do that until this record.”

According to the Herald, the “deeply diverse” album, which includes two possible Top 40 hits, also boasts “slowcore ballads” and “beastly, thorny, post-grunge” music. “The songs feature more diverse textures and a more experimental feel,” the AP added.

It’s an improvement, guitarist and vocalist Miller says, over Guster’s first album, which the band released independently in 1994.

“I’m…glad that our first record wasn’t our best,” Miller told the Herald. “I’d feel horrible if we hadn’t improved on ‘Parachute’ after 10 years.”

While critics praise Guster for its progress, they point out that the band’s music still has a familiar feel.

“Their distinctive style remains, with rich melodies, airy harmonies and literate lyrics still giving Guster its stylish luster,” the AP reported. “Their appeal stays the same: Well-constructed, well-performed pop tunes that aren’t afraid to be both smart and hummable.”




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