Review Summary: "Elsie" will still be playing on my Ipod long after I've grown tired of "Handwritten".
With all the hype surrounding the new Gaslight Anthem album it's possible some people have already forgotten about Brian Fallon's side project The Horrible Crowes, but that's their loss. Their debut album Elsie is catchy, full of great lyrics, and drenched in emotion.
When listening to "Elsie" the listener is reminded of why they fell in love with Brian Fallon in the first place. He wears his heart on his sleeve and his lyrics come across as honest and heartfelt. And although he's not singing about classic cars or Miles Davis this time around, his lyrics are as good as ever. Ian Perkins fits in perfectly on guitar but the album also has organ and string sections as well as other instruments that help give it a different feel than The Gaslight's typical outing.
Brian Fallon also offers up some of his best vocal work to date in this album. Just go listen to "Go Tell Everybody" or "Mary Ann", and you will hear the gruffest vocals he's ever put on a record. For those who prefer his softer side there's still plenty to be enjoyed here. Songs like "Cherry Blossoms" and "Sugar are much more relaxed but help show how amazing he can sing when he slows things down. There's a lot of experimentation on this record but luckily there's not a bad song to be found.
Anyone who enjoys The Gaslight Anthem should check this out. If you don't like them Elsie will likely do little to change your mind. However it's hard to deny Brian Fallon's song-writing ability. Those who have heard "The '59 Sound" know how in-depth his songs can be and "Elsie" is up to par with the best lyrics hes ever written. Due to the outstanding vocals, variety of instruments and song-structures, "Elsie" will still be playing on my Ipod long after I've grown tired of "Handwritten".