Sound — 8
Elsie is recogniseable by Brian Fallon's ever raspy, soulful voice. However, this album contains many different musical styles, and shouldn't be dismissed as a Gaslight Anthem (Fallon's main project) album. Piano and clean guitar combos tend to rule most tracks on the album, with most tracks being soft spoken, slow tempo, bluesy numbers, such as Last Rites and Cherry Blossoms. Fallon's emotional tremble in his voice while he sings makes the whole album a little sweeter. However, there are times when it'd be very easy to mistake the song for a Gaslight Anthem track, which is why I only give the sound an 8, as some of the album isn't too original.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics that Fallon has wrote on Elsie are always moving and emotional. In fact, the lyrics on this album are perhaps some of the best I have ever heard. Fallon's fantastic songwriting capabilities are showcased impressively in Elsie, and are sung with such a superb combination of sadness, soul and blues. I would say the best lyrics on the album are in Cherry Blossoms, which tells such a moving story of which I have yet to hear another song do as well as this does.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, Elsie is very much a mixed bag of styles- there's truly a song on here for everybody. And, while you can clearly hear influences from Tom Waits, Springsteen and of course hints of Gaslight Anthem, the Crowes have shown they can be considered a band of their own. Standout tracks from the album for me are the rock stomper Mary Ann, predicted lead single Behold The Hurricane and the moving Cherry Blossoms. In short, I love essentially everything about this album, although there are times when the songs feel a little too similar. If this album were stolen, I'd definately be buying it again- Elsie is the best musical effort I've heard this year, and I'd definately reccomend giving it a listen.