The '59 Sound review by The Gaslight Anthem

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  • Released: Aug 19, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 9.8 (35 votes)
The Gaslight Anthem: The '59 Sound

Sound — 8
This record has been out for some time now and received a fair deal of air-play So I won't go into too much detail here. The band's overall sound is worth discussing though being both familiar yet somehow refreshing and exiting. T.G.A bring together heavy Bruce Springsteen and Americana influence with a Punk background whilst avoiding the inevitable Rockabilly pastiches that some similar bands fall into. The musicianship on this album is pretty good too, especially lead guitarist Alex Rosamilia who as on debut album "Sink or Swim" eschews the standard solos and licks of lead guitar in favour of texturing the songs, most notably on the song "Casanova, Baby!". The Arrangement of the songs is also top-notch too stopping them from becoming stagnant and boring past the three-minute mark.

Lyrics — 7
"And in my head there's all these classic cars and outlaw cowboy bands" This lyric from the chorus of the song "High Lonesome" is more than adequate of giving us a look into the head of Brian Fallon and what inspires him. As I have said the band bring a big Americana influence to the table and the songs bring up tales of Girls, Tom Petty songs, road-trips and Ferris wheels. The band do delve into deeper issues alongside the nostalgia and love songs too. The title track is a look at death and loss while "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" and "Here's Looking at You, Kid" are two great songs about having moved on from the past and growing up. The Lyrics on "The '59 Sound" in all seem to be a step up from the sometimes Clichd songs of "Sink or Swim" but also lack some of the power of the bands XOXO records debut. There's nothing on here as gripping as the opening verses of "The Navesink Banks" or "Wooderson" but the songs manage to be more consistent in quality and not peter out like the aforementioned two songs. While hardly manoeuvring on untrodden ground Fallon's lyrics still manage to be powerful and interesting and complement the groups music and old-school influences perfectly.

Overall Impression — 7
In conclusion "The '59 Sound" is a great record and well worth the money. The songs are all fairly strong and the production is well suited to a record like this. The Springsteen-esque nature of the band may put some people off but for those who are interested will find this record a treat. One flaw that I will point out however is that "The '59 sound" seems paradoxically to be both an improvement on the band's debut and "Senor..." E.P. yet somehow missing out on the bombastic power of those records. Possibly due to the more mature nature of the album and the band's progression. This could be just my Opinion however so feel free to disagree.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have a broad taste in music, and these guys have become my favorite band. I haven't put this album away in over a year. It always cheers me up. I can now easily say it's my favorite album of all time. Everyone has their album, that one album that they just love. A lot of musicians have London Calling, Nevermind, etc, and this album is mine.