Guster Ganging Up On the Sun

From their roots as just another band trudging their way around the American college campus scene, Guster have come a long way. During those early days, the band were best known for their "quirky” gimmick of using a bongo set instead of a more conventional drummer, but thankfully they’ve managed to shake off that novelty labels and find success on their own terms. Ganging Up On the Sun is the band’s fifth album and their first in three years, but during that time, not a whole lot has changed really. It sounds exactly like anyone would expect the follow up to 2003’s Keep It Together to sound like, which is bound to please their loyal fans. Yet it doesn’t feel like it will be their breakthrough album simply because it never really rises above the level of being a very pleasant listen. The problem is that Guster are not very forceful in their desire to be loved. Their low-key songs are hummable and there’s no good reason to dislike them, but they just aren’t very exciting. While Ganging Up On the Sun might be the band’s best album to date, it appears that they’ve peaked creatively and will never be anything more than a hugely successful touring band with an incredibly devoted following. I guess there are worse things. (Reprise)