Newest Review: ... music for the first time. Or possibly not! A good intro in the album. 'Stay Lucky' carries on in a similar vein with high tempo a... more
Full of sing-a-long classics
American Slang - Gaslight Anthem
Member Name: cbmcfc123
American Slang - Gaslight Anthem
Date: 16/08/11, updated on 11/09/11 (5 review reads)
Advantages: Great melodies and great to sing a along to
Disadvantages: Needs a bit more variation
The third album from the band builds on the previous two. The first album 'Sing or Swim' was the rawest and most punky effort and 'The '59 Sound' was a ridiculously melodic rock and roll record. 'American Slang' continues with the tales of lost love, retro and almost too earnest lyrics and storytelling.
The sound is more diverse and there are even funkier elements and some slightly dance like beats on a couple of tracks. There is still the same Springsteen influences sound but the record sounds a little more modern than 'The '59 Sound' which you would expect given the title!
Title track and first single 'American Sound' kicks things off and it's an immediately catchy tune. I have no idea what, if anything, the song is about. Possibly hearing new and exciting music for the first time. Or possibly not! A good intro in the album.
'Stay Lucky' carries on in a similar vein with high tempo and fast vocals. The song is probably about being proactive if you want something to happen or change rather than waiting for it to just happen. It could be specifically to do with the struggle to write a follow up to a breakthrough album.
'Bring It On' is a song of lost love and is another great track. One of the characteristics of the Gaslight Anthem is how much of the song is filled with vocals and how few gaps there are for instrumentals or solos. There are plenty of the old fashioned lyrics that I've mentioned on this one.
'The Diamond Church Street Choir' is next and it has a jazz element to it, especially in the intro and for me is one of the weaker songs on the album. More 50s style lyrics 'girls in the ribbons and the curls' and 'baby who sings the rhythm and the blues' and the song doesn't really do anything for me.
Another more chilled out song in 'The Queen of Lower Chelsea' follows although this one is more melodic. 'Orphans' is a return to the up-tempo style that I believe the band do best although there are a few moments where the lyrics are somewhat crow-barred in as they don't flow too well but it's a good song none the less.
'Boxer' is one of the best songs on the album. Fast, melodic and a sing a long classic. I think the lyrics are probably about someone who used to take abuse or beatings in relationships etc but has been worn down over the years and doesn't feel as though they can take any more.
'Old Haunts' is another good song which deals with people who don't move on with their lives and possibly stick to the same places and routines throughout their lives.
'The Spirit of Jazz' is thankfully not a jazz song! It's another great tune and is a rememberance of a girlfriend of his youth and how he never forgot or stopped regretting her. Again, this is one of the stronger tracks on the album.
'We did it When We Were Young' is a slow track to end the album and I think it's a shame as I believe the band's strength is definitely in the faster songs. Again the lyrics concern a former relationship and the bitterness surrounding it.
Overall, this is a good album but many of the tracks are quite similar. Most of the songs, especially the more upbeat ones, are great shout out loud tracks and packed with great melodies.
*This review is my own work although I may post it elsewhere on the internet.
Summary: Very good album