#2 - The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound (SideOneDummy, 2008)
The Gaslight Anthem have the distinction of being the youngest band on this list, having formed only a few years ago and releasing their first album, Sink Or Swim, in 2007. I bought that album after reading about them in Alternative Press and listening to some tracks they had on Myspace. I instantly loved the album. I had grown bored with the music I was listening to and Sink Or Swim provided exactly the jolt I needed to be interested in punk rock again.
In 2008, after a decent EP (Senor And The Queen), they returned with a new full length, The ‘59 Sound. I initially hated it. It was simply a disappointment after Sink Or Swim. Having already paid for it, however, I gave it another chance. It slowly grew on me as I picked up the nuances, started feeling the various influences and began picking out lines that were some of the most intriguing lyrics I had ever heard. Eventually, I accepted The ‘59 Sound as what it is, a truly amazing album that balances modern punk sounds with classic rock and roll and 1950’s soul and blues, filled with references to Bruce Springsteen, Miles Davis, Bob Seger, Tom Petty, Sam Cooke, and even Casablanca and Charles Dickens.
The ‘59 Sound is one of very few albums that I can listen to from start to finish (including the iTunes bonus track, a cover of “Once Upon A Time” by Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise) without skipping a track. It’s also one of very few albums I can listen to no matter where I am, what kind of mood I’m in, what the weather is like, etc. It is about as close to my perfect album that a band can get. In fact, when this list was originally being created, it was automatically put in the #1 spot (I’ll explain in the next entry why it was pushed back).
Favorite tracks: "The '59 Sound," "Old White Lincoln," "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues," "Here's Looking At You, Kid"
Make sure to come back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to my Top 10 Albums Ever.