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 American Slang - blog reviews

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The Navesink Banks
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PostSubject: American Slang - blog reviews   Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:07 pm

I thought it would be worthwhile to have a thread in which to re-post reviews of American Slang which appear in misc. blogs.

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PostSubject: Re: American Slang - blog reviews   Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:08 pm

http://honeygarlic.blogspot.com/2010/04/spring-2010-music-roundup-part-i.html


The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
Release: June 15

This one leaked early.

It's a bit of a cop-out here, because pretty much everybody is banking on this being Gaslight's breakthrough album that turns them into legitimate mainstream rock stars. This album should accomplish that.

The '59 Sound was awesome, but it only achieved limited success because it sounded more like what you'd hear on a classic rock radio station than on a newer-skewing format. American Slang retains the distinct vocals and guitars that Gaslight have become known for, but eschews the older influences in favour of a more upbeat album that sounds much more palatable to today's audiences.

The catchy hooks are still around, starting with "Stay Lucky" and going right through the album. It's also nice to see some oft-repeated phrases like "the cool" sticking around.

One opinion on the album I've seen is "oh, they became Kings of Leon"--which isn't really that far from the truth. Gaslight has gone from their Springsteen-esque retro anthems to songs you could easily see filling a stadium.

"Bring It On" could easily be a hit, with "Old Haunts" as a followup, while "Orphans" is a nice callback to the band's past sound.

To me, this seems like the album that will finally catch on with the mainstream and turn The Gaslight Anthem into bona fide superstars. Right now, it's my least favourite of their three albums, but like the others, I imagine it'll grow on me over time.

At the moment, though, I'm disappointed. It's a generic rock album, a bit better than average, but it doesn't have the unique amazingness that I found in The '59 Sound and even Sink or Swim to an extent. If this is what they've been building to, I'm not sure I like the new direction.

--Ryan

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Jack
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang - blog reviews   Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:43 pm

I'm a bit disappointed (but not all that surprised) at that reaction.
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang - blog reviews   Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:49 pm

Does it make me a bad person if I agree with this review for the most part?
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang - blog reviews   Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:23 pm

Little Eden wrote:
Does it make me a bad person if I agree with this review for the most part?

absolutely!
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang - blog reviews   Sun May 09, 2010 5:51 pm

here's a new review of the album

http://www.reviewrinserepeat.com/2010/05/09/the-gaslight-anthem-american-slang-review/


The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang (Review)

by Jerry Breseno - published May 9, 2010


If The Gaslight Anthem were a group in society, they would undoubtedly be the blue-collar working class. Akin to this hierarchical division, the band has diligently worked without the limelight recognizing their greatness. Rather than relying on a marketable image or making radio friendly music, The Gaslight Anthem have made a name for themselves by touring extensively and by letting their music do the talking. And deservingly so, this hard work has paid off; the band is quickly rising to prominence. Despite how movies or novels have glamorized the American Dream, the road to success is certainly not easy. Along the way, there is hardship and failure. Most of the time, people never reach the goals they have set for themselves. With American Slang, The Gaslight Anthem have fabricated an album that embodies the struggle living as a middle class individual. To hell with the trite mainstream pop songs and parties in the USA
; this is pure, unadulterated rock-and-roll made by the people for the people.

The band’s message is immediately apparent in their opener “American Slang.” The lyrics are striking and poignant, with the lines “The fortunes came for the richer men/ While we’re left with gallows/ Just waiting for us liars to come down and hang” hitting the hardest. And what is life without heartbreak? “Bring It On” is a track that imparts the difficulty of a lover leaving for someone else. Though Fallon’s vocals are a bit rough in comparison to his reverb-tinged ones in The ’59 Sound, they are still accessible and proficient in projecting genuine emotion.

A common mistake people make after experiencing success is forgetting where they came and who helped them along the way. With “The Diamond Street Church Choir”, the band assures they will not be ones guilty of that error. The message in itself is great, but the composition of the song is what makes it one of the highlights of the record. The finger snaps are absolutely infectious and the chorus proves to be one of the band’s better sing-alongs. Another stand out track is “Orphans” because of its extremely memorable chorus. One aspect of The Gaslight Anthem’s that is overlooked is the cohesion of the songs. In “Orphans”, Fallon sings, “And the lonesome understand/With the choirs in my head.” The latter lyrics obviously refer to the aforementioned “The Diamond Street Church Choir”, which gives American Slang a sense of unity.

When the going gets rough, one is often told to “roll with the punches” in order to surmount this adversity. When relaying a similar message in “Boxer”, The Gaslight Anthem opt for a metaphoric approach that calls for one to fight through hard times as—you guessed it—a boxer. This is a obvious comparison, but it successfully accomplishes its goal. The record’s closer, “We Did It When We Were Young”, is simple in approach but has a haunting effect. Accompanied by clean guitar tones, bass and light percussion, Brian Fallon gives quite the vocal performance. In this track, there are two sets of vocals; one is in a lower register that keeps a consistent time, while the other is more melodic and hits higher notes. Though the range of Fallon’s voice is apparent, the abundance of emotion pouring from his voice makes up for some strained vocals. “We Did It When We Were Young” has plenty of replay value and is a brilliant way to end a spectacular record.

How do you follow up an album that is close to perfection? Well, follow it up with the album of the year! American Slang is further evidence that The Gaslight Anthem is one of the best bands of our generation; every one of their releases has not only been solid from cover to cover, but also special in their own way. Additionally, American Slang is one of those rare releases that gets better with each spin. Furthermore, it is an album that is a must buy for any music lover of any age. The effort’s one flaw—though it can barely be considered one— is that it is short. At its conclusion, you cannot help but want more. If you ever get to the chance to ask The Gaslight Anthem one question, let it be this: “Who does do it better than you?”

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PostSubject: Re: American Slang - blog reviews   Sun May 09, 2010 5:59 pm

Wow, that certainly is positive Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: American Slang - blog reviews   Mon May 10, 2010 12:31 am

Most of the reviews I have seen are along the lines of "The '59 Sound was awesome and AS doesn't disappoint". On the one hand, this is clearly good -- all the fans are happy, but on the other... its the fans who are happy. I guess only the fans will bother reviewing it early, but as release day approaches it will be interesting to see if it wins over any new people. (Granted almost all the reviewers loved T59S, so that might be hard to judge... still looking forward to how Pitchfork figures out how to hate them because they aren't your standard crappy indy rock and Chris Fallon's review on AbsolutePunk because that guy knows his music, but I've seen enough positive reviews at this point that unless they are along the lines of "I'mma fan now" they don't honestly do a lot for me...)
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