• Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Apr 1, 2008
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Bright Lights is a super-serious record that demostrates some super-serious song craft. [May 2008, p.130]
  2. Their sound--enhanced by the energies of a second guitarist, Chris Head, and a bassist, Chris #2--literally urges participation. Every song’s chorus helpfully comes prearranged as a sing-along: no room for sullenness here.
  3. Their thrillingly angry seventh album is a more furious companion piece to "American Idiot," raging at both social injustice and the self-righteousness of the punk underground. [June 2008, p.138]
  4. On their seventh disc, the music successfully carries the message, thanks in no small part to Bowie/Morrissey/T. Rex producer extraordinaire Tony Visconti, who pumps even more life into these loud, rousing singalong choruses and driving power chords without sacrificing dynamics or naked emotion.
  5. The Bright Lights of America, Anti-Flag's second major-label album and eighth overall, proves for the billionth time that good intentions don't always make good music.
  6. Too much of the disc, like the histrionic "The Modern Rome Burning," swipes singsong, folk-stoked stridency from Against Me! and American Steel; the rest of it throws random orchestration at the wall and misses it altogether.
  7. Even if Anti-Flag’s hearts are in the right place, Bright Lights of America is too vague to be impactful.
  8. 40
    Unfortunately, despite now working with David Bowie producer Tony Visconti, who infuses their angular, system-smashing screeds with timpani ("Good and Ready"), brass ("Shadow of the Dead"), and harmonica ("Go West"), Anti-Flag still don't possess the innate pop sensibility that's allowed Against Me! to make a mainstream move.
  9. The ambitious sound of The Bright Lights of America is a dreadful fifty-two minutes long; with an average song length over three minutes.
  10. On the Tony Visconti produced The Bright Lights of America, the band opts for the same brand of pristine song production and testosterone-soaked chants as every other mall-punk band, and, in so doing, makes it hard to discern them from the crowd. [Summer 2008]
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Jul 5, 2011
    5
    I was disappointed by this album overall. The sound of the lyrics was way different than previous albums, which I attribute to the affiliationI was disappointed by this album overall. The sound of the lyrics was way different than previous albums, which I attribute to the affiliation with a major label. The lyrics sound as if they were all written to be sort of anthem-esque, which is fine for a few songs, but when a whole album is written this way, it comes off overly epic. Bothered me a ton and i won't even listen to this song anymore. Its meaningful message and this bands history is this album's only saviors. I love AF... which is why I have such strong feelings about this album. And as far as punk music goes... didn't do it justice. Full Review »
  2. dmdd
    Jul 5, 2008
    3
    This sucks compared to the previous albums.
  3. MaxH
    May 3, 2008
    4
    If you compare this to their later albums it is less political and less anarchy influenced. Though most of their stuff is usually pretty If you compare this to their later albums it is less political and less anarchy influenced. Though most of their stuff is usually pretty boring this hit the lowest point. Thanks for trying, Anti-Flag. Go back to Underground Network or Die For Your Government. Full Review »