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Album Review
The Gaslight Anthem - iTunes Session Album Cover

The Gaslight Anthem - iTunes Session

Reviewed by
8.0
The Gaslight Anthem - iTunes Session
Release Date: October 12, 2011
Record Label: SideOneDummy Records
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
The Gaslight Anthem don’t have to do much to get me to listen to them. In fact, they don’t really have to do anything. I listen to them almost every day even while their band is relatively dormant. An iTunes Session featuring covers of songs by The Who and Tom Petty, along with an old, long-forgotten demo and a couple other gems was a must-buy on the day of release.

Covers of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” and Petty’s “Refugee” kick off the six-song iTunes Session, and provide two of the more compelling songs on the release. Brian Fallon’s vocals have been nothing but praised since the release of American Slang, and that won’t change after an inspired performance on “Baba O’Riley.” There’s something intrinsically awesome about hearing Fallon’s gritty voice belting out, “Teenage wasteland!” over and over again. The Tom Petty cover, while not quite as familiar to most, is a nice homage to an artist who has undoubtedly influenced this band, but whose influence has been dialed down because of repeated comparisons to Bruce Springsteen.

“Our Father’s Sons” is a forgotten demo from the recording of The ’59 Sound, but a redone version of this song basically makes it brand new again. As usual, Fallon’s lyrics are there, telling a folk-like story for listeners, and while it’s obvious why the track didn’t make The ’59 Sound, it’s a hell of a b-side. The “State of Love and Trust” cover (originally by Pearl Jam) is a nice take on the song, but probably the weakest link on this release.

The two best tracks come last. Fallon takes the soulful vocals he used on the release of The Horrible Crowes’ Elsie and applies them to “Boxer,” the best song on American Slang. While I’ll certainly prefer the original version in the long run, it’s hard to not put this song on repeat. It’s a familiar melody, slowed down extremely, and Fallon sings carefully, as if he doesn’t want to wake you up…but the song takes you away each time. The musicianship can’t be ignored here, either; while Fallon’s vocals are rightfully the focus of many of these songs, the instrumentation on this version of “Boxer” is splendid and it shines on the closing cover of the well-known “House of the Rising Sun” as well. Fallon sings the track as though it was one of his own, and in the end, all this iTunes Session does is raise anticipation for Gaslight’s upcoming 2012 full-length. What direction will this band take? Where will we find Fallon’s versatile vocals on a new LP? This band’s path has been as fun to follow as any, and one thing is for sure: I’ll be listening.

8/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20
10:29 AM on 12/26/11
#2
jpd19125
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love this band and everything theyve touched.

i wouldnt put boxer in my top 5 on that record (bring it on, stay lucky, AS, diamond church, spirit of jazz)
11:11 AM on 12/26/11
#3
Nathan Lint
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The version I had also had a new version of the Navesink Banks.
11:14 AM on 12/26/11
#4
dannylololol
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Love this so much. The Who cover gets me so excited every time I hear it
11:39 AM on 12/26/11
#5
fennmacon
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I love the "Not Pearl Jam, not really." in the RIYL
12:42 PM on 12/26/11
#6
Thomas Nassiff
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The version I had also had a new version of the Navesink Banks.
Yeah, I looked it up in the iTunes store and it had an interview and Navesink Banks, but that wasn't in the AOL stream and I didn't know what version to review...
06:28 PM on 12/26/11
#7
CluckyB
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How do you think the version of boxer on this record compares to the acoustic one they released for christmas last year? I personally think the new one is far weaker and am annoyed that every review I'm read of the iTunes session doesn't even mention last year's one. (I mean, I can understand that a lot of reviews probably weren't even aware the christmas one existed, but i figure Thomas has probably at least heard it =) )
10:12 PM on 12/26/11
#8
flask
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I LOVE the Pearl Jam cover. Probably the song I've listened to the most off of this.
11:44 PM on 12/26/11
#9
Goat01
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Great review.
It's a solid hold-the-fans-over type of release.
08:17 AM on 12/27/11
takethisback
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State of Love and Trust is not the weakest cover. It's one of the better next to Baba O'Riley.
08:50 AM on 12/27/11
zachff
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Been enjoying this since it leaked, then bought it for the bonus track. Great stuff.
08:51 AM on 12/27/11
zachff
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How do you think the version of boxer on this record compares to the acoustic one they released for christmas last year? I personally think the new one is far weaker and am annoyed that every review I'm read of the iTunes session doesn't even mention last year's one. (I mean, I can understand that a lot of reviews probably weren't even aware the christmas one existed, but i figure Thomas has probably at least heard it =) )
Link. That. Shit. (I probably have it somewhere but I'm lazy)
10:02 AM on 12/27/11
oneeightytwo
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Nice review. Can't wait for new GA.
12:11 PM on 12/27/11
CluckyB
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Link. That. Shit. (I probably have it somewhere but I'm lazy)

Don't have a link on me. I'm sure if you spend enough time with google you can find it though.
05:52 PM on 12/27/11
Lastnightintown
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Gonna have to pick this one up after reading this. Brian fallon can do no wrong - I haven't taken Elsie out of my car since it was released and I seem to like it more every day. Cant wait for the new gaslight!

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