American Slang

Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. 100
    American Slang delivers spectacularly on all expected fronts. Everything that was great about The '59 Sound is here, but the sound is even bigger, epic without getting blustery.
  2. American Slang takes the best of what the band has shown they can do, and moves it into early '60's Motown, combining it with a rich Springsteen/Strummer sound (which is just how Fallon will always be; it works for him, get over it) over a soulful rhythm section, with sprinkles of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Smokey Robinson in there for good measure.
  3. The band's third LP, American Slang, represents a welcome, organic progression. It's more varied in style than the excellent (but samey) The '59 Sound, and the songs feel more original-the product of Brian Fallon's notebooks, not his record collection.
  4. Fallon's understanding of the redemptive power of music elevates American Slang from being a good record to a great one.
  5. It's less immediate than previous material, but nevertheless absorbs the magic of the world, distilling it into ten slices of trembling, impassioned rock 'n' roll.
  6. American Idiot and Born in the U.S.A. both pave the way for American Slang, and as the quartet's third album, it's Gaslight Anthem's Born To Run.
  7. With shouted-till-we're-hoarse vocals, taut guitars, and a grizzled demeanor that suggests too many night shifts, they've got Garden State attitude down.
  8. The group spit-shines its soundtrack for working-class America.
  9. Kerrang!
    80
    American Slang stands on its own two feet with eyes fixed on new horizons, its chief architect focused less on history, more on his story, as he tries to make sense of new realities after his world has been turned upside down. [12 Jun 2010, p.50]
  10. As such it's not so much a bad record as a weirdly redundant one: four talented, passionate musicians do a perfectly reasonable job of making a record that sounds a good deal like vintage Springsteen, but fail to really leave their own mark on the music.
  11. Even with that super high-gloss finish, it's hard to dispute the depth of songwriting talent throughout American Slang, and as a summer rock album, it's (quite literally) nigh on faultless.
  12. Q Magazine
    80
    American Slang isn't a record to change the world. But if Brian Fallon is yet to take on the Springsteen mantle of seeing and articulating that world way beyond his own neighborhood, it will surely bringh im closer still to The Boss' heartland audience.
  13. American Slang is a very subtle step forward from The '59 Sound, conjuring exactly the same thrills from slightly different angles. They're still the archetypal blue-collar all-American rock band given an emotionally sloppy, musically slick post-punk makeover.
  14. Alternative Press
    80
    American Slang is no disappointment--these are expertly written songs by a band who continue to learn who they are and what they play as time goes on. [Jul 2010, p.121]
  15. 80
    American Slang sticks to the template Fallon's been hammering away at since the band's beginning; its stories star the same kind of characters and its garage-punk sound still sparkles with flashes of Motown and R&B.
  16. American Slang is a big step forward for the Gaslight Anthem, showing more consistency and ambition than The '59 Sound.
  17. The prevailing feeling throughout this album is that American Slang represents a more mature sound from the Gaslight Anthem, showing us a band that has grown up enough to start attempting to fill the shoes of their influences.
  18. Make no mistake--that Jersey (GA's home state) vibe still lurks in the corners. It's just that his writing style is more distinctive here. It's also the sound of a band pushing itself while capitalizing on its strengths.
  19. There is nostalgia by the truckload, lamenting of times past, talk of lessons learnt. Frankly there's a lot of looking back, but it doesn't feel weighed down by it all.
  20. True to form, this brisk, exhaust-scented third album makes an ambitious return to the Boss' scenic Friday night carnival for a familiar but still-mighty wallop of muscular, crying riffs and good old-fashioned restlessness.
  21. Even if many of the album's lyrics find Fallon looking back in anger, American Slang ultimately proves The Gaslight Anthem are not afraid to move forward.
  22. With American Slang, the Gaslight Anthem takes another step away from their riff-punk past, leaning more heavily on their classic-rock influences and letting their snotty, Warped Tour tendencies take more of a backseat than ever before.
  23. It's fair to say Gaslight are a band who have made people's lives immeasurably better simply by existing; American Slang won't change anyone's world and it's unfair to punish it for not, but we just hoped for… more.
  24. American Slang can feel forced, as if Fallon is searching for meaning just beyond his fingertips. But when he attaches his howl to a first-class tune, he's unstoppable.
  25. The Gaslight Anthem's profound affection for and commitment to their forebears are just as present as they were before, but only here does the band sound as eager to bury as to praise them.
  26. For American Slang, they dig even deeper into their source material - Otis, Elvis, Replacements. It's to dutiful and evocative effect, but a little bit at the expense of the punky pluck that leavened their highway-wide serious streak.
  27. Mojo
    60
    On their latest LP, the group's influences -- the thrift store soul of early E Street Band, late period Clash, and the besotted rock of The Replacements -- are still worn on their sleeves. [July 2010]
  28. In fairness, it's not all bad news. There's an admirable efficiency and directness about American Slang, which dispatches 10 songs in barely half an hour. It's hard to deny Fallon's ability to write anthemic melodies.
  29. After their breakthrough, The '59 Sound, the Jerseyian punks appear to have taken a Green Day-like career shift: finding a concept that struck a chord and beating it to death like one of the down-and-out ciphers in the B-movie quality Springsteen worldview they've constructed.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jan 3, 2013
    10
    Brilliant band, brilliant album. If you enjoy good music that has a genuine sound and great lyrics then you will love The Gaslight Anthem. IBrilliant band, brilliant album. If you enjoy good music that has a genuine sound and great lyrics then you will love The Gaslight Anthem. I must have listened to this album over a hundred times and I'm not bored yet. Full Review »
  2. Mel@T
    Jun 15, 2010
    8
    Another great album by these guys. Not as immediately catchy as 59 sound, but give it a couple of listens if you're at first Another great album by these guys. Not as immediately catchy as 59 sound, but give it a couple of listens if you're at first disappointed and you'll warm up to it. Full Review »
  3. bkkhan
    Jun 15, 2010
    9
    The Gaslight Anthem are simply a fun band--their music is jam-packed with catchy hooks and choruses, and their music is often joyful. This is The Gaslight Anthem are simply a fun band--their music is jam-packed with catchy hooks and choruses, and their music is often joyful. This is really the sound of summer! Full Review »