While it didn't have quite the impact on me (I'd prefer Gaslight any day of the week), that was a fantastic review. Probably the best I've seen from you. Keep it up!
Thank you sir! Always trying to improve. With the TWY review and this one, I think that's my next gear as far as writing goes. It makes a huge difference when you have a month or so to listen to a record - instead of judging it, you're basically writing an opinion on a record that you already know like the back of your hand.
Great Review. Seriously. Thomas, you write some of the most inspired reviews on the site and that's not lip service.
One thing I will say: I really wonder how often throughout the course of a year, people proclaim something "the best album of the year". I'd just like to see a review that didn't stack a record alongside all other records released in a given year. It's August - lets give it til December to write lists.
I know you might not have been calling me out specifically - but this year, in reviews I've written, there is a casual mention in the Balance & Composure review of it being one of the best records of the year, and I hailed the Wonder Years record, obviously. But the TWY review was more general, and I never called it AOTY. This is the record I call my AOTY because I know it won't change.
First of all, Thomas, this is the best review I've ver read. Not just for an album, but for anything. I almost feel as if I've just listened to it myself. I didn't think I could be more excited for this but now I am.
Seeing the comparison to Nebraska just made my day. I was wondering if this would be comparable to that album. Also, the comparison to We Did It When We Were Young really gave me an understanding of how the album ends.
Great review, I usually don't read your reviews because I don't really like the bands you review but I may read them just for the sake of good writing.
Never told Thomas how much he can love it. Where did I do that again? I'm glad he loves it. I specifically said he should "shout it from the rooftops." Direct quote.
Also, after the 4 seconds it took you to rush to his rescue, I put in an edit praising the quality of the writing, which is something I know he's worked really hard on. Constructive!
My contention is that it's silly to start throwing around hyperbole for an album that hasn't been out that long. Saying that he's "the future of rock and roll", saying that he's on a par with what Springsteen did in the 70's. Maybe when it shakes out, that'll be true. Who knows? But it's certainly way too early to say that about any album. We haven't even finished 2011 yet. Let alone had time to establish the kind of historical context Thomas is throwing around.
I believe I address the hyperbole criticism in one of the first paragraphs. If you don't want to read my more personal opinions, stick to the middle of the review, the bulk of it where I talk about the songs on the album. Skip the intro and conclusion. Easy enough.
I can name like 20 albums from my lifetime I'd give 10s to. Some people have more lax scoring mechanisms in their heads than others.
The thing is I'm the same - there isn't any other album this year I would have given a 10. TWY would have been 9 or 9.5 and that's the only record I would have considered it with. On the new site I'm going to treat a "10" like it's the holy grail or something.
In the review itself Thomas admits to having the right to be hyperbolic in a review every once and awhile. Nowhere did I see Chris say anything suggesting that Thomas can't love this album as much as he wants to. He just said the review is overblown. I agree. I also probably won't even listen to this because I don't like Gaslight so I don't even know why I ventured in here.
Your last sentence summed up the existence of like 90% of AP.net users, at least you're a self-aware one.
Yeah, I would have. If you're going to imply, directly or indirectly, that something is going to be joining the greatest of all time, it'd be useful to to see if it's still your favorite even a year from now. You can praise a record, even hyperbolically praise a record, without pulling out sweeping generalizations about it's place in history.
So okay, send me a PM in 10 years and we'll discuss this record. If I'm right, that's pretty awesome. If I'm wrong, well I probably will be wrong about lots of things. Last year I never said anything in a review like I did in this one.
I appreciate Jason's post because I feel the same way. Rather than a cut and paste review of another record I loved, I wrote what I really thought about this one...and if I make one prediction like that every 150 reviews, I think I'll be okay with how they shake out.
Actually worth noting that this is the second record this year that I have said something bold about - but I have full faith in both Elsie and Suburbia. They will be 1-2 atop my list, and although it's only August, I've heard most of my anticipated releases up through early October.
Brand New, Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, MCR, Thrice, Say Anything, The Gaslight Anthem.
For the record, with how carefully you choose (or chose) albums to review, if any of the ones you reviewed are now looked upon as classics, there was probably something bold in that review that you can call vindication.
I think you're exactly right about the "cult classics" thing. I guess that's why the grandiose parts of the review seem out of place. Gaslight are doing really well for themselves, but in the grand scheme of things, Brian Fallon is not a known quantity (outside of ap, where Cody Payne is a celebrity...shit gets distorted). I don't know if anyone has the clout to be the future of anything anymore, let alone Fallon.
"While Gaslight’s brand of modern rock and roll might not get the comprehensive recognition it fully deserves..."
It's not like I'm not aware of it. I'm pretty sure that it's a given that I'm writing this review for a target audience. Rolling Stone isn't going to pick it up and publish it.
And true that you'll be wrong a lot ... but how boring are the vanilla reviews that are 4 lines in places like Alt. Press. That kind of writing bores me. It has no voice. You don't feel that the writer felt something during the process. I like the reviews that get my blood moving. That remind me what it's like to listen to something that's changed someone's life. Those are the reviews that, to me, are worth reading. If I'm reading 5 sentences summing up an album, I might as well just stream the first song myself. I'll get more out of it.