Bad Bad World
Label: Aware Entertainment Inc/Universal Republic Records
Easy Wonderful has a charming late-'80s feel to it. The way Guster grabs all manner of Beatles-certified hooks and tricks and filters them through radio-friendly roots pop is very Crowded House, Hooters, BoDeans, et al. In terms of arrangements and production, the band has pulled out all the stops (shimmering pianos, finely layered choruses, scratchy little guitar licks, etc.) without ever falling into sonic decadence. Maybe it's way uncool to compare adult-alternative squares like Guster to those indie hipsters known as Dr. Dog, but both groups are mining similar territory.