The Gaslight Anthem
American Slang


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
June 8th, 2010 | 30 replies | 7,140 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I've been crazy for so long without you

14 of 14 thought this review was well written

Whether you would like to admit it or not, The ’59 Sound affected you. The fusion of poignant lyricism, soaring harmonies, and infectious melodies never ceased to be both compelling and fervent; packing that formidable punch that the majority of albums don’t seem to achieve. You were blown away by the title track’s tragic storyline, “Backseat’s” emotive climax and “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues’” easy swagger. Hell, you even felt for Brian Fallon when he labored perfectly through “Here’s Looking At You Kid”. Whatever it was, The ’59 Sound reminded us of why we listen to music in the first place, why we decide to get out of bed when it seems as though there is nothing else to look forward to.

"Don’t sing me the songs about the good times, those days are gone and you should just let them go,” indicates Brian Fallon in American Slang’s eighth track, almost directly correlating with the situation we are now placed in. Let’s get this out of the way right now; American Slang is not The ’59 Sound. The New Jersey natives had quite the act to follow, but American Slang indicates that the band is not going to dwell in the past basking in the success of their sophomore release. American Slang seems to retain some of the most prevalent elements from their previous releases; it screams accessibility and exuberance, while proving to be sincere. There are hooks, sing-along anthems, and even finger snaps to complement the meticulously polished instrumentation, which isn’t a far cry from its predecessor. There is just something astonishing about American Slang, in that it just feels good. What we essentially see with this record is not necessarily a growth, but rather an ability to take something spectacular and create an entirely separate entity.

In such a short time, lead singer Brian Fallon has become an unlikely icon in the music world, possessing the sincerity of indie legend Elliott Smith and the energy of none other than the Boss. The Gaslight Anthem’s third full-length release is no different in that the Springsteen influence is a formidable facet; the monstrous choruses and lucid storytelling are highlighted, but most of all, it’s ****ing catchy. American Slang is just as infectious, if not more so than its precursor, with “Diamond Street Choir,” “Stay Lucky,” and “Old Haunts” among others serving as a testament to this. You can find yourself singing along at any given point in the release, and even snapping your fingers in the opening seconds of “Diamond Street Choir” in blissful stimulation of what is one of the band’s greatest tracks to date. American Slang does not seem to offer an ineffective song in this respect, for each is just as captivating as the last. In listening to the record however, you can help but feel like something is missing; whether it was the initial sensation that The ’59 Sound presented, or just the overall magnitude of the band’s songwriting.

American Slang takes a slight, if very slight fall in the songwriting category, which may ultimately have been the factor that pushed its predecessor to an astronomical level. Brian Fallon had referred to this as his most personal record to date, most of which deals with his experiences with divorce. Fallon had been especially alarmed with the rate of divorce throughout the world, coining it as an issue that hordes can associate with. American Slang is equally as relatable in this regard, with tracks such as “Bring it On” and “Orphans” centralized around this idea. The latter relies on a tremendous one-liner, “And we were orphans before we were ever the sons of regret”, as its focal point; almost perfectly accentuating the record as a whole. For one reason or another however, the lyrics of the release don’t seem to pack the same powerful punch of its predecessor, possibly lacking that one heart-wrenching ballad that could have elevated the record to upper echelon status.

The Gaslight Anthem are out to prove that they will continue to be one of the more compelling and cohesive units in recent memory, and American Slang only furthers this inference. The New Jersey natives’ third full-length release captivates from the enticing title track to the sincere "When We Were Young," not only contributing to an already thriving legacy, but also presenting the record as a separate entity from both The ’59 Sound and Sink or Swim. The Gaslight Anthem are still demonstrating the capacity to make us feel great about our struggles and tribulations, which is something that we cannot help but be astounded for.



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user ratings (752)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
William Lim (4.5)
At this rate, it doesn't look like there's a single bad album in The Gaslight Anthem's future....

MrConnection (4)
The Gaslight Anthem continue their upwards trajectory....

Ali CONTRIBUTOR (4)
The New Jersey quartet's foray into Americana continues to yield impressive results....

Nick Butler EMERITUS (4)
Why doesn't every rock band make music like this?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
June 8th 2010



6088 Comments


Thought I'd submit this before the other thousand reviews come in and it was really unnecessary

Romulus
June 8th 2010



8423 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Awesome review, I think there was one issue with italicizing vs. quoting song titles (once I find it again I'll post it) but otherwise great stuff. And I love the summary

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2010



7326 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, I mostly agree, pos'd.

EVedder27
June 8th 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks rom and Ali.

Rom that could very well be true since I just started quoting the song titles rather than the album titles. I'll check for it.

BigHans
June 8th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Great job Mike.

Inveigh
June 8th 2010



24946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Good review, and I actually agree with most of what you say. It's just that I think the songwriting fell off a little harder on this than you do, but still, very good review. This might be my favorite review for this yet, actuall (pos'd).

now, let's see a review that doesn't give this a 4, eh Sputnik??

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

BigHans
June 8th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I thought about reviewing it but all it would end up saying is that while its good, it doesnt blow me away, and the 59 Sound is so much better.

EVedder27
June 8th 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks Hans and Inveigh. I'm sure some 3 and 3.5 reviews will start popping up.

SeaAnemone
June 8th 2010



20049 Comments


haha I've had mine written a while... but I think I'll hold off so that it's not my 100, I guess it's supposed to be special or something idk. nice one though! I wouldn't wanna bump this down the page anyway

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

Tulannical
June 8th 2010



2051 Comments


the 59 Sound is so much better.


agreed but i'll let it sinnnnk in

EVedder27
June 8th 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks Eric, I'm intrigued as to what your 100th is.

Jethro42
June 8th 2010



12402 Comments


Sounds great. I just youtubed 'Here's looking at you kid'. At first glance,band is like an improved version of 'The Weakerthans' to me.
Excellent review Ved, pos'd.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 8th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another fantastic pos-worthy review of this album. Well done Mike. man, I didn't realize that you were approaching the big triple figures in reviews.

EVedder27
June 8th 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks Jethro and Davey.

Davey, I think I flew under the radar for much of my first few months reviewing. Can't wait for my 100th though, but I still have quite a few to do first.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 8th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sounds like you may have a plan for the big 1-0-0.

EVedder27
June 8th 2010



6088 Comments


Oh it is a big one. And it will come out of nowhere.

Romulus
June 8th 2010



8423 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So far we know it's going to be a soundtrack. Can we have one more hint?

EVedder27
June 8th 2010



6088 Comments


Alright, but this is the last one. It's a movie from the 90's. If I say anymore it'll give it away.

Romulus
June 8th 2010



8423 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Alright I am on this case.

Douglas
June 8th 2010



9098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Conveyed my thoughts of the album perfectly! Well done brother.

Digging: James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical



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