"And did you wanna drive, without a word in-between … I can understand, you need a minute to breathe."
Been meaning to toss up some thoughts on The Gaslight Anthem's Handwritten
sampler. I'll usually wait for the full album for things, because I believe that when an artist creates an album - they do so looking at the entire album as its digested as a whole. For me that's an important aspect to when I first hear something: as the artist intended it. However, when it comes to a band like TGA, arguably my favorite band right now ... sometimes a boy's gotta make sacrifices. Thankfully the songs I've heard are in order on the album track listing (as far as we know
First, gotta preface this with a few things: The sampler that I got is in stream form, and as you know - that means the quality is lower than what you'll hear on the album. I know this for a fact, because I, like most of you, were tuned to the premiere on Zane's radio show for the single premiere. And the quality that came through that was deeper - richer - and better. The quality of the sampler stream is a little pitchy. I sound like an ungrateful douche - but the truth is I wanted to make sure you knew what I was judging the songs from ... and take that into consideration.
So, how do the new songs sound of one of the most anticipated albums of all year?
Like The Gaslight Anthem. Don't worry.
You've heard the single - probably - and you know that they start things off with a more fast paced number. The second track is more mid/59-Sound/tempo, with a stomping beat and Brian's vocals back down in their regular register. The lyrics are exactly what I was hoping for. The production sounds fucking huge. Brian's themes of love/loss/and the night are pretty prominent. And I'm sensing a theme already for where the album is going to go ... a theme I like.
What the sampler provides is a look into what I think the album is going to shape into ... and what I am getting is that it sounds giant. It's diverse in sound -- while still maintaining a very TGA feel. A part of me wants to hold back on saying that it sounds more "mainstream" and "accessible" because I am afraid people will take that the wrong way. But, to some degree, it's just the truth -- it sounds like the kind of album everyone
will love. That the die-hard fans will be able to nod along to and see where the band came from to get here ... (the people that want Sink or Swim
part 2 - well, they had to know that wasn't happening) ... it carries the weight of The '59 Sound
with a bit more of the force of Elsie
The band (and Brian, in general) has a catalog of such mammoth proportions that I always feel, with each new release, that we're too close to it ... that we're inside of an era of musical creativity and development that can only truly be appreciated with time. That in 10 years we'll look back and actually understand. Appreciate. And grasp what is taking place. However, in the meantime I get an odd feeling that we are seeing something special here.
Sampler first impressions from my blog.