‘Handwritten’ is more of a natural evolution than ground-breaking revolution for The Gaslight Anthem, with not a great deal changing sound or format wise. But this is no criticism as again the band presents another solid album that portrays their All-American Rock’n’Roll/Post-Punk style.
With a mixture of Bruce Springsteen charisma and Hot Water Music emotive rock, title track ‘Handwritten’ and first single from the album ‘45’ are nostalgic perfection. There is something about The Gaslight Anthem ‘s vintage sounding guitar tone that touches the heart and sends the mind back to a time and age that not many of us have visited.
The main area of evolution for the band is the lyrical content which appears more open, personal and engaging. A perfect example of the lyrical maturity coming at the end of the album, the beautifully captivating acoustic track ‘National Anthem’ is the definitive moment of the record and the perfect conclusion. Brain Fallon claims to have written the song in one take, yet again demonstrating his unrivaled song writing talent and emotional awareness.
You can always trust in The Gaslight Anthem to deliver but although ‘Handwritten’ is bloody good, it seems nothing will quite match their second (and mainstream breakthrough) full-length ‘The ’59 Sound’. Despite ‘Handwritten’ hosting its own potentially stadium filling anthems and vintage gems, ‘The ’59 Sound’ still remains the bands’ strongest effort to date, arguably this may remain the same for a long time, after all you can’t beat perfection.
Words: Emma Wallace