The Gaslight Anthem's The '59 Sound is most successful when it delivers driving, anthemic, Springsteenian jams, perfectly exemplified in songs such as "Miles Davis & The Cool", "The '59 Sound", and "High Lonesome". The album's masterpiece might be "Here's Looking at You, Kid" - a slow-burner that captures the essence of lost love with remarkable poignance - but it's the rock n roll that sets this album alight.
Determined, upbeat and catchy, "Great Expectations" is a strong opener, while "Old White Lincoln" boasts one of the catchiest choruses on the album, as Fallon sings "You and your high top sneakers and your sailor tattoos / Your old '55 that you drove through the roof" over the backing "Ooohs".
Some listeners may find the tracks all too similar for their liking, as they tend to share a certain lustre. However, the hooks are there from start to finish, so if that's your bag, get on board, because you're not going to find a better rock n roll release to satiate your Born To Run cravings for a while.
great review, and i totally agree with it, although your idea of this "taking critics by surprise" is a little unfounded, as there's been a ridiculous amount of hype behind these guys in both the press and on the internet (practically the whole userbase at punknews.org has been furiously whacking over this band for a good year now, and kerrang put them on the cover without any prior mention in the magazine). still, one of the few bands who deserve said hype.
review gets my vote for sure, and i might actually review this myself soon, after a few more listens. it's currently bordering on a 5 for me, i figure a week or two of further listens will decide...
I actually had no idea about the hype, grimbo, although I'd heard about the Kerrang cover but wasn't sure if it was true. I figure this'll probably get up to a 4.5 for personal enjoyment within a week or two.
I was thinking of reviewing this after i listened to the stream a few times a couple of days ago, but i dont think i like the album enough to do so. To me its an average pop-rock record with a few really good songs (especially Old White Lincoln and Ferris Wheel), and a load more average ones that sound very similar. It has quite a cool 50s vibe to the sound which i like, but i think in the end theres too much reverb on everything. Overall, its quite good but not great in my opinion. I saw them on the front of Kerrang the other day, and though I was surprised I can see why, its accessible catchy music that non-metalhead Kerrang readers will like.This Message Edited On 08.18.08