Sound — 10
"Did you hear the '59 sound, coming through on grandmama's radio?". The recurring line discussing the greatness of oldies music in the title track of the sophomore effort of The Gaslight Anthem is evident throughout the album. Utilizing the Jersey Shore sound of Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny and melodic punk of the Bouncing Souls and Social Distortion, The Gaslight Anthem evolves their sound from raw, lo-fi, and dirty garage rock, to a lyrically intelligent, musically brilliant, all around great rock-and-roll album.
Lyrics — 8
Brian Fallon is a talent songwriter who uses catchy melodies and clever lyrics to create beautiful songs. While the music from Sink or Swim has evolved, the lyrics have not. Fallon still drops the occasional Counting Crows and Springsteen lyrics in his songs which is fine and the literary references are great but the nonsense lyrics such as "her hair was raven and her heart was like a tomb" have no place on what could be a perfect album.
Overall Impression — 9
The Gaslight Anthem never dissapoints, live or in the studio they leave you wanting more. Standout tracks include "The Backseat", "Here's Looking At You, Kid", "Great Expectations", and "The '59 Sound". But all the tracks show epic brilliance in them. Having 5 weeks to produce the album as opposed to the one week for Sink or Swim really showed. The album sequencing was a little weird in terms of organizing it by energetic and non-energetic songs but other than that it truely is a great album. There are few albums that I can listen to every track and not put it down(My Chemical Romance-The Black Parad, Green Day- American Idiot, Bruce Springsteen-Darkness on the Edge of Town, etc.) and this is one of them.