The '59 Sound review by The Gaslight Anthem

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  • Released: Aug 19, 2008
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.8 (35 votes)
The Gaslight Anthem: The '59 Sound

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.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This review had been way better if you had just said that the album was great.. And as Skaliveson says, that line you quoted makes perfect sense.. @Haanz: Are you kidding? It's "raven" (as in black/raven black) Great album though. I love all the references he uses in the lyrics.
    I love these guys, i remember when i came across them last year when i was looking for a real talented band to listen to amongst the masses of average generic bands floating around the radio and this band was exactly what i was looking for. Their sound and style can be a bit derivative at times, but they are a lot better than many younger bands around imo. They are full of great soul and vibe and a real joy to listen to on car journeys. They wear their influences on their sleeves and play some crackin tunes
    ^ +1. Also, you're "nonsense lyrics" quote is anything but nonsense, that is one of the more imaginative and visual metaphors that has been released recently.
    poor review you just come across as trying to hard to seem clever. excellent album though
    Got this album a week ago after seeing them live - it's absolutely incredible. Film Noir and Cowgirl's Don't Get the Blues are the standouts here.
    The comments say more useful things than the actual review. Can't wait for more from these guys, seeing them in 2 weeks!
    dislike the last line. and i like the black parade but can not listen to the whole album. i could but i wouldnt choose to.
    Love the Album, Film Noir was one of my favorites. They definitely got me with the throw back sounds. A friend let me listen to the album and I was immediately struck by the Jersey sound. Can't wait to hear more from these guys. Good job on the review. Don't agree with the last point in the review but it doesn't take away from its strengths.
    "her hair was raven and her heart was like a tomb" is actually "Her hair was rabid, and her heart was like a tomb." Y'know. Following on the kitten metaphor. Also, like Alexxx hinted at, your list of albums you love every track on kinda hurts your review.