Guster makes music using just guitars, voices, and hand percussion. By choice, the Boston trio have used their unique, sparse instrumentation to come up with creative arrangements and out of the ordinary sounds. The result is quite simply great music; songs with infectious melodies, stunning harmonies, penetrating lyrics and innovative percussion. Legendary Producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, Dave Matthews, Peter Gabriel) signed on with the Guster team after witnessing two heaving, sold-out shows at New York's Irving Plaza last summer. This fruitful marriage resulted in Lost And Gone Forever, an album of immense proportions and a significant leap forward when measured against 1998's acclaimed Goldfly.
Guster's formula is quite simple: Take time-tested harmonies à la Simon and Garfunkel
or the Hollies
, pour them over pleasant acoustic guitars, and add a pinch of congas for toe-tapping made easier. Lost and Gone Forever
all but screams "radio friendly!" (especially with hit-producing wunderkind Steve Lillywhite at the knobs), but luckily the final product is more palatable than that. The musical plan is occasionally augmented by an electric guitar or strings, but generally follows harmonious sounds over articulate voices. Some people will listen to Lost and Gone Forever
and find it too slight and completely corny, but others will fall under the spell of Ryan Miller and Adam Gardner's full-bodied vocal blend. --Jason Josephes