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 American Slang album - personal reviews

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The Navesink Banks
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PostSubject: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:06 pm

I thought I'd start a new thread for personal reviews of the new album.

First though ''Thank you, guys, for this album'!! It's really, really impressive (I was admittedly a bit worried that it may not live up to the hype).

While it's still clearly a Gaslight Anthem album, there is more musical variety than on their previous albums, including a greater variety of tempo. There are great tunes on there, including of the sing-along variety, which will go down a treat when this is played live. And the lyrics are of the usual high quality (as far as I can make them out).

The stand out track for me is 'Old Haunts'.

The following very personal 'scores' are based on just two listens (bar for AS and BIO), and I changed them a few times (and I'd probably change them again over time). At its worst, the album is as good as what passes for great with most bands these days, so the scores are really TGA relative.

American Slang 8/10
Stay Lucky
8/10
Bring It On
9/10
The Diamond Church Street Choir
9/10
The Queen of Lower Chelsea
8/10
Orphans
7/10
Boxer
6/10
Old Haunts
10/10
The Spirit of Jazz
8/10
We Did It When We Were Young 8/10


I do hope the album will get the attention and success it deserves, and that it will get new fans into the earlier albums as well.

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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:12 pm

I'll play along...like you said, I'm adjusting these scores to be TGA relative. Otherwise they're all tens (yes, I give the album a 10/10 overall).

American Slang - 8/10
Stay Lucky - 7/10
Bring It On - 9/10
The Diamond Church Street Choir - 10/10
The Queen Of Lower Chelsea - 8/10
Orphans - 8/10
Boxer - 7/10
Old Haunts - 9/10
The Spirit Of Jazz - 8/10
We Did It When We Were Young - 9/10

Again, for any other band these are all 10/10, so take it with a grain of salt.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:17 pm

American Slang - 6/10
Stay Lucky - 8.5/10
Bring It On - 8.5/10
The
Diamond Church Street Choir - 9/10
The Queen Of Lower Chelsea - 8/10
Orphans
- 8.75/10
Boxer - 11/10
Old Haunts - 10/10
The Spirit Of Jazz - 10/10
We Did It When We Were Young - 10/10


Whats wrong with you guys boxer's amazing!
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Bigtittykitty
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:20 pm

what the guy above me said
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:20 pm

Bigtittykitty wrote:
Whats wrong with you guys boxer's amazing!

I chuckled when I saw your score, though not out of disrespect.

And folks, you can just review it, you don't have to go in for all that scoring business.

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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:22 pm

American Slang - 8/10
Stay Lucky - 8/10
Bring It On - 10/10
The Diamond Church Street Choir - 8/10
The Queen Of Lower Chelsea - 8/10
Orphans - 9/10
Boxer - 7/10
Old Haunts - 10/10
The Spirit Of Jazz - 8/10
We Did It When We Were Young - 7/10

Really not feeling the final song much to be honest, not sure why, not as much kick as the rest of the album, the start of Boxer ruins it for me, not the greatest start and doesn't pick up enough.

Old Haunts after a few listens is easily up there for the best song on the album. At least the album doesn't start bad and get better/vice versa, solid throughout. Another brilliant effort.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:52 pm

ok so i love Boxer and Old Haunts the album is really awesome i dont think its what i was expecting but i still love it its just made me ALOT more excited to see them at Leeds Festival this year Very Happy

American Slang - 9/10
Stay Lucky - 8/10
Bring It On - 8/10
The Diamond Church Street Choir - 8/10
The Queen Of Lower Chelsea - 7/10
Orphans - 8/10
Boxer - 10/10
Old Haunts - 10/10
The Spirit Of Jazz - 8/10
We Did It When We Were Young - 9/10
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:58 pm

American Slang - 8/10
Stay Lucky - 7.5/10
Bring It On - 8.5/10
The Diamond Church Street Choir - 8.5/10
The Queen of Lower Chelsea - 9/10
Orphans - 9/10
Boxer - 7.5/10
Old Haunts - 8.5/10
The Spirit of Jazz - 8/10
We Did It When We Were Young - 8.5/10

So far.
Most albums grow on me so this is all subject to change.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:59 pm

I do hear "Straight to Hell" in "The Queen of Lower Chelsea", like Brian said.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:04 pm

The whole album blew me away. When American slang was released, i had my doubts. But the album is simply amazing. Even hearing american slang one with it makes me like it more. I give it a good !5/10 as a whole.

and the intro to boxer is AMAZING lol
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:30 pm

To be fair, these are only after 3 or so listens, excluding American Slang and Bring It On

American Slang- A good song to be sure, but a bit generic for Gaslight Anthem excellence. I love the chorus though, and I could see this one being a much better song live with everybody singing along.

Stay Lucky- A really cool song, it almost sounds like surf rock if you know what I mean. Anyone else agree?

Bring It On- One of my early favorites. Great Chorus, but some of the lyrics are a struggle. A fun song though. Sounds a lot like American Slang.

The Diamond Street Church Choir- Probably tied with The Queen of Lower Chelsea as my favorite song so far. Catchy as hell, and reeking of a great live song.

The Queen of Lower Chelsea- Another Beautiful number. The lyric "If you've found a good man, don't take him home" is possibly the best one on the album. Really personal song for me. "American Girls, they want the whole world" Beautiful beautiful beautiful

Orphans- A good song, but not one of my favorites. I've only listened to this song twice, but I'll get to it.

Boxer- One of my favorites. The intro is killer and it sounds like the clash in their prime almost. The tommy gun reference helps with that one.

Old Haunts- I can see this one being a favorite for some. Reminds me of Film Noir a little. Some good lyrics in there, but I can't remember them right now.

The Spirit of jazz- Not the biggest fan. I can see it being a grower though. My least favorite of the bunch

We Did IT When We Were Young- Another great sounds. Really a moody one. A great way to end the album.


Overall- Time will tell if this turns out to be a better album than Sink or Swim and The 59 Sound, but it definitely is a contender.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:01 pm

Well I don't really see a great departure like the band kept promising. Maybe a bit in certain areas:

There seems to be less work in the production, which isn't a bad thing. It's more raw, and they got rid of that reverb. Production-wise, this seems to be more punk than '59 Sound, but not as much as Sink or Swim.

Lyrically, Brian kept saying it'd be more personal and less mysterious... that much is true. Definitely more specific.

I don't remember them ever saying they wanted to get out of the shadows of their influences, but if they did, they didn't really follow through on that one. I still get a lot of Springsteen from them, maybe even more than last time. Just more in the music and vocal melodies this time instead of the lyrics.

I haven't heard enough to catch any references to other bands, except for a borrowed line from U2 in Stay Lucky
The Gaslight Anthem - Stay Lucky
--"What you don't have, you don't need it anymore"
U2 - Beautiful Day
--"What you don't have, you don't need it now"


Overall, these are just observations, not to be mistaken for complaints. 0 complaints from me, I'm relieved to finally have a new album to love. It's been too long. Now, time to give some time to Minus The Bear and wait for Sage Francis, River City Extension, New Pornographers, Panacea, and Stephen Egerton, all of which should leak probably this week, so WOW
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:08 pm

rhg5010 wrote:
I still get a lot of Springsteen from them, maybe even more than last time. Just more in the music and vocal melodies this time instead of the lyrics.

The Queen of Lower Chelsea sounds like Badlands
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:09 pm

I REALLY like it as of right now after having listened to it twice.

Probably digging "The Diamond Church Street Choir" the most right now. Though I am sure that will change.

I do understand how those looking for a continuation of the Sink or Swim sound would be disappointed, but as somebody who had to adapt to the heavier sound of that record, I don't mind the departure.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:10 pm

rhg5010 wrote:
rhg5010 wrote:
I still get a lot of Springsteen from them, maybe even more than last time. Just more in the music and vocal melodies this time instead of the lyrics.

The Queen of Lower Chelsea sounds like Badlands

I don't really get the Springsteen comparisons that much. Besides playing "rock" and being from NJ. And the obvious lyrical references I guess to me Springsteen's music is defined by the keys and sax which aren't present in GA songs.


Of course, the comparisons will never go away. So they might as well learn to live with it.


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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:14 pm

Thus far after about 10 listens these are my conclusions on the album.

To me its their worst album. That doesn't mean its terrible though, in fact its great, amazing even, and it'll most likely end up being my favorite record of the year (good morning, magpie is putting up an extra good fight). But in terms of their previous output it doesn't even touch it (yet!) Its a grower, 59 Sound was the same way for me. I hated it the first couple listens, then I loved it.

American Slang - 7/10
Stay Lucky - 8/10
Bring it On -7.5/10 (never noticed the bongos on this track, this really help it out)
The Diamond Church Street Choir - 10/10
The Queen of Lower Chelsea -10/10
Orphans - 10/10
Boxer - 7.5/10
Old Haunts - 6/10
The Spirit of Jazz - 7/10
We Did it When We Were Young - 8.5/10

Anybody feel the same way?
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:21 pm

rhg5010 wrote:
rhg5010 wrote:
I still get a lot of Springsteen from them, maybe even more than last time. Just more in the music and vocal melodies this time instead of the lyrics.

The Queen of Lower Chelsea sounds like Badlands

Not really at all though.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:24 pm

any Tom Waits-esque moments?
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:44 pm

Jay wrote:
rhg5010 wrote:
rhg5010 wrote:
I still get a lot of Springsteen from them, maybe even more than last time. Just more in the music and vocal melodies this time instead of the lyrics.

The Queen of Lower Chelsea sounds like Badlands

Not really at all though.

Haha yeah not hearing that. It's about to come on again, so maybe I'll change my mind on the third listen. Doubt it, though.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:47 pm

After one full listen, I'm definitely feeling that the first half of the album is much stronger than the second.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:51 pm

American Slang - Still a fun song, even if it already feels a little old to those who downloaded it a while ago. Complete with a killer riff that makes me want to take up the guitar.

Stay Lucky - Perhaps not the most noteworthy, but it's still a fun song, if only for that crazy voice of Brian's at the end.

Bring it On - Love it. It speaks to me on so many levels and reminds me of aspects of my own life (specifically the ones that "Here's Looking at You, Kid" hit a chord with).

Diamond Street Church Choir - How can you not love this song? Seriously, how? Perhaps my favorite currently.

The Queen of Lower Chelsea - Not my favorite, but still very good. You may notice I'm not rating mine; that's because I don't think I've made up my mind on them all yet. But I can tell you that there isn't a single song on here that I won't listen to (which is an atypical reaction from me compared to most times I listen to a new album). This song sets a very interesting mood with its unique guitar sound (well, at least unique to TGA), in the same way that Film Noir did.

Orphans - Another song that I'm not going crazy over, but still isn't an embarrassment to the album by any means.

Boxer - For those of you yet to listen, prepare to be caught off guard by the intro to this song (in a very good way!). It might have become a little annoying if it had lasted longer than it did, but they jumped into the main song at exactly the right moment. You're left thinking, "Whoa, they did that?" Loved the upbeat rhythm; it's all pure TGA awesomeness.

(wow, I feel like I'm writing the worst TGA review ever. But I'll soldier on....)

Old Haunts - Again, to the yet-to-listen crowd, prepare to be amazed. Basically a whole song based around a single line from "Navesink Banks". This, to me, was more Bruce-like than anything they've done before, and not in a superficial "Oh, he's singing about Jersey with a gravely voice" way. Very dark and energetic, with a bit of a surprising reversal at the end if you like analyzing lyrics.

Spirit of Jazz - Has grown on me, for sure. Did anyone else hear maybe a Green Day similarity? Call me crazy, but it's like a Green Day song musically, if they knew how to write some half-way optimistic lyrics.

We Did it When We Were Young - If you're anything like me, you may not be all that into it the first time through, but I have grown to appreciate it. It's slow, cathartic, and even though it's not my favorite song of theirs lyrically, that may change once I get a better idea of what it's supposed to mean. It should produce a treasure trove of theories in the Song Meanings board.


Not to play the whole album again in AudioSurf!
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:48 pm

i dig the record. not gonna review all the songs, but i think it's impossible not to like Diamond Street. i really like 'em all.

WHO-OO-OO DOES IT BETTER THAN WE DO?

danceable record.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:04 am

American Slang - I like it a lot but I think it still has room for growth.

Stay Lucky - If you didn't get it before, the end seems an obvious homage to Stay Free. My favorite song after a couple listens.

Bring It On - Really great song. I love the soulful vocals.

The Diamond Church Street Choir - Another great track. Really catchy and I love the gospel feel. The title alone is enough to make me picture "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" from "Rattle & Hum."

The Queen of Lower Chelsea - Great vibe. Brian said it recalled "Straight to Hell" and I feel it. Something in those guitar strums and the subtle but pounding beat. Can you imagine when they play that drum-smashing climax live? I get chills thinking about it.

Orphans - This beat seems to be the most Sink-or-Swim-ish track in a while. I wish I could decipher this chorus though. It seems like it would be good. "We were orphans before we ever (the sons in your songs))?? That seems most likely to me. But then they vary it and I can't pick up the other variation.

Boxer - Jump rope to Gaslight Anthem. I like it but it seems a bit bland compared to the others.

Old Haunts - I love the references back to "The Navesink Banks." Musically I'm not feeling this as much as others, but once it really kicks in, it's great.

The Spirit of Jazz - I go back and forth while listening to this but I mostly like it. The chorus is catchy. Not sure about the gang vocals but I bet they'd be a lot of fun to yell in concert. I like the buildup near the end.

We Did It When We Were Young - I like the vocal layering. It's different than anything they've ever done. I think it's good.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:16 am

simo wrote:
After one full listen, I'm definitely feeling that the first half of the album is much stronger than the second.

really? I think the album really kicks off with track 6
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang album - personal reviews   Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:53 am

I'm on Stay Lucky, it defo sounds like Meat Loaf.
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