The critical acclaim showered upon The ’59 Sound (2008) certainly set a high bar for The Gaslight Anthem, putting significant pressure on them to equal or even surpass its greatness with their third album, American Slang, set to release next week. While the band may not have entirely reached that lofty goal, American Slang comes remarkably close. The album consists of 10 tightly packaged tracks, each containing the essential elements for success. Rather than shying away from comparisons to Bruce Springsteen, lead singer Brian Fallon and the band embrace them.
This style is evident from the very beginning, as Fallon’s voice exudes confidence that encompasses emotion, swagger, and leadership, much like the Boss himself. American Slang is replete with anthems that capture the fading vigor of youth and will easily resonate with their diverse, age-spanning audience. It essentially encourages listeners to move past their bygone glory days and focus on the present. Most of the album’s tracks are toe-tapping, with the exception of the excellent four-minute ballad-like closing track, “We Did It When We Were Young.”
American Slang offers everything Gaslight Anthem fans could desire, featuring layered background harmonies and band call-outs complementing Fallon’s commanding vocals. The album spans just thirty-four minutes and is ideal for repeated plays, growing more engaging with each listen. While American Slang may not stand as their magnum opus, it unequivocally affirms that The ’59 Sound was no fluke, leaving us eagerly anticipating what they’ll deliver next.
“Bring It On” / “American Slang” / “Old Haunts”
ARTISTS WITH SIMILAR FIRE
Social Distortion / The Replacements / The Clash
THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM REVIEW HISTORY
The ’59 Sound (2008)