ALBUM OF WEEK 25 – AMERICAN SLANG

Still recovering from the hangover of the festival, I have two more pending gigs waiting.

Tomorrow I’ll see John Grant in Vilanova, I already told you about this, and if you remember, Queen of Denmark was one of the albums of the week few months ago.

On Thursday I have a date with The Gaslight Anthem, really can’t wait. I think this band is at its finest, and the show is to be one of these “I was there” ones. I’ve heard set lists include approx 22-24 songs…amazing!

I’ve been praising their previous album, The ’59 Sound, an amazing shot of energy, a very fresh and straight bunch of songs, now it’s time to talk about American Slang, a more mature work, still keeping the strength in their tunes, and the message in the lyrics.

To be honest, this album didn’t make such an impact on me as the previous one, yet the more I listen to American Slang, the more I like it.

You don’t need to express a state of melancholy, nostalgia or heartbroken pain by means of slow and calm songs, it’s true sometimes to make a point rhythm or tempo must work accordingly, and you know when suffering, time is too long, so probably in many occasions slow songs are more appropriate. This time The Gaslight Anthem might slow down a bit sometimes, and variety of tempos in songs is wider now. But at the end of the day it’s a matter of the message, and these guys lyrics are emotionally loaded, they are story tellers and troubadours all at once.

Personally, find these songs are constantly referring to the lost of innocence, and curiously, youth gone away, as if decisions and acts have put an end to happiness and fun. This differs from what I think is my current situation, after feeling heartbroken for months, I’ve come to terms with myself, enjoying friendship, partying and with hope when thinking of love, this might be because my acts haven’t had side effects and never had material values as to be attached to them for good: no kids, no mortgages, no pets…

The Gaslight Anthem were defined as the icon of classic America in its 50’s, I’m getting the point nowadays. All this street, outlaw philosophy depicted in their songs always remind me of young Brando, Elvis or James Dean. Tough guys living so intense, their actions bring out fatal consequences. Don’t know how to explain it better though… but isn’t a song titled We Did It When We Were Young enough explicit?

Even though the leader of the band, Brian Fallon, names the Stones, Dylan and other artists as the source of inspiration for writing about personal experiences in this album, early Springsteen’s influence is undeniable…and I’m not into his stuff yet (by the way, can anyone mark me the path to follow with this man, please?), but it’s so obvious!

But hey! Despite I felt not as impressed by the album, listening to Bring It On, Orphans or The Boxer is just magic. Fallon’s raw voice, yet very melodic, is charming. Lyrics are full of imagery, so visual, whenever I listen to one of these songs, I’m able to visualize made up movie scenes in my mind, full of cars, beautiful girls, tough boys and the smoke of cigarettes…Love it!

I’ve recently purchased their first album via internet, can’t get enough of these guys!

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