Handwritten - The Gaslight Anthem
Handwritten Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 28 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth album for the New Jersey rock band is its first on the Mercury Label and was produced by Brendan O'Brien.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. As listeners, as fans of music, we've already hit the lottery here.
  2. Jul 10, 2012
    90
    Thanks to the expert production of Brendan O'Brien, the record sounds goddamn phenomenal. [Aug 2012, p.83]
  3. Aug 13, 2012
    80
    Handwritten is The Gaslight Anthem's finest and most authoritative album. [28 Jul 2012, p.52]
  4. Jul 10, 2012
    70
    For all the fine furies collected on Handwritten, the most memorable moments are those on which The Gaslight Anthem shift to lower gears. [Aug 2012, p.66]
  5. Jul 24, 2012
    70
    Loud and big--stadium big, major-label big--and although it has soft patches, much of it hurtles forward with welcomed urgency. [No.89, p.58]
  6. Jul 24, 2012
    60
    In going from name (or lyric) checking their favorite bands to trying to actually sound like them, the Gaslight Anthem might have blurred the crucial line between inspiration and identity. None of this is to say that Handwritten isn't an often enjoyable, occasionally brilliant album, cause it assuredly is that.
  7. Jul 19, 2012
    40
    It buries some strong writing, singing and potential. [Aug 2012, p.96]

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Jul 26, 2013
    10
    This is simply put an absolutely tremendous album. Brian Fallon's lyrics and vocals continue to be very impressive with neat guitar work woven in to the songs without overpowering the other instruments. Favourite songs on the album are: Mae, Handwritten, Desire and Mulholland. I recommend getting the bonus track Blue Dahlia as I can't believe it has only been released on the bonus album. Expand
  2. Jul 30, 2012
    10
    Really good album and good songs.this album says it all.it's handwritten with good songs.the best songs off this and recommend buying off itunes are,mae,45,handwritten,muholland drive.if you are a fan of rock and roll and blues.then buy this even if you are a Bruce Springsteen fan. Expand
  3. Aug 26, 2012
    10
    Since The 59' Sound was released, I've been a die-hard Gaslight fan. They're a fantastic band that I could recommend to anyone (which I've done already). Then American Slang came out and they went for a different sound. Not as great as The 59' Sound but nonetheless a great album. Now, we have Handwritten. An record that treads familiar ground from The 59' Sound, yet sounding completely fresh. The opener "45" is one of the best opener's to an album this year. It creates this high energy that really sets the mood for each track to come. Brian's lyrics have always been very deep and personal, and he writes just that on Handwritten. Every track has a deep message in it and if you're like me, you'll relate to what he's saying. That's what makes a Gaslight Anthem record a record to be cherished. It connects with it's listeners. All In All, The Gaslight Anthem have yet to fail, which will probably never happen. Brian's lyrics and the guitar work are fantastic. One of the best this year. A Expand
  4. BKM
    Aug 1, 2012
    9
    Handwritten is a tremendous rock record and an improvement on their previous release, American Slang. The band wears their hearts as well as their influences on their sleeve. The songs have the fire and passion of Springsteen and the raucous punk energy of The Replacements, but this is no mere tribute album. Handwritten is the work of a band coming into their own as true artists. Expand
  5. Aug 12, 2012
    9
    Gassed Up

    Handwritten is another 'mature' Gaslight Anthem album much in the mold of 'American Slang.' It is tight, well recorded, and
    sounds very much like a continuation of this record with a few, not so helpful, additions.

    Brendan O'Brien - who did so much to wreck Springsteen's recent output, is at the controls. Fallon seems to like him, but I sure don't. He makes Fallon's voice sound forced on nearly every track, and the vocals lack the colour and subtlety achieved on '59 Sound' and 'American Slang'. The band is still tight as a drum, but not as imaginative as on the previous two records. Also, Fallon is now very much the 'writer' and his self consciousness grates a bit.

    That being said, the Gaslight are just full of energy, ideas, songs and sheer balls to blow away most bands. I particularly like 45, Mulholland Drive, Too Much Blood, Handwritten, etc. The covers at the end of the deluxe are good, but not essential except for fans.

    They are a great live band, and are playing the UK behind this in the autumn. Very well worth seeing.
    Expand
  6. Jan 5, 2014
    8
    New Jersey's Springsteen worshippers produce a solid if slightly unadventurous rock album. As you listen through the record, it's clear that plenty of time went into the writing and structuring of the songs. The production of the record is well suited to the sound of the band and the band themselves do a good job when delivering the material. For me, the album's two strongest songs are found at the beginning and end of the record in "45" and "National Anthem", with "Too Much Blood" providing another highlight in the centre of the record. For the rest of the album the band are consistently good without ever getting the creative juices fully going. I like the record but am a little confused by it I'm not sure if the production makes the band sound better than they actually are. They sound the part and you get the feeling that these guys do have a really great record in them but on repeated listens to this it lacks a little substance. Still enjoyable though. Expand
  7. Oct 4, 2012
    7
    I really enjoy their style, albeit some of the songs seemed lackadaisical to me. But predominanting are the guitar riffs, which truly rock! Then there are nice lyrics and 11 (buy the deluxe version with three extra songs, which are great!) diversified songs. Altogether that makes an enjoyable LP from a band I'm happy to have discovered. Expand

See all 10 User Reviews