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Handwritten

4.5 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

HANDWRITTEN, The Gaslight Anthem s first album on Mercury Records, was produced by two-time Grammy Award winner Brendan O Brien, known for his work with Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Incubus, and many others. Prior to HANDWRITTEN, The Gaslight Anthem released three full-length indie albums to date, Sink Or Swim, The 59 Sound and American Slang. With tons of critical raves, The Gaslight Anthem has won strong and loyal followings across the U.S., Japan, and especially in the UK. In the U.S., hundreds of thousands of festival goers have seen The Gaslight Anthem on the stages of Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella.
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Digital Booklet: Handwritten
Digital Booklet: Handwritten
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 24, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B0089IGUP4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,865 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
The thing I give Gaslight Anthem so much credit for, is that through 4 albums and 1 E.P., I can listen to their entire discography, and never skip a song. There aren't many bands I can do that with... MAYBE 1 or 2 others.

Handwritten continues that streak. It's just good rock and roll... it's not too punk, not too pop... it's sort of the Bruce Springsteen/John Cougar/Tom Petty of the ages... no gimmicks, no experimentation, no digital screeching or wub wubs, no samplers, no attempts at rapping. Just good old fashion rock and roll... the way it's supposed to be.

The forefathers of Rock and Roll would be proud.
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Format: MP3 Music
Fans of Gaslight Anthem will find 2012's HANDWRITTEN be familiar. The band's sound is like a beaten up pair of Chuck Taylor's. Gaslight Anthem is rough around the edges, old-school, raw, but comfortable. With prolific producer Brendan O'Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Incubus), the band's sound remains full of passion and energy but crystal-clear. While their sound may not be specifically unique, they are a breath of fresh air in a musical climate dominated with electronics.

The album begins with its lead single, "45." The song isn't just one of the best songs on the album - I'd argue it's one of the best of the band's career. It's a solid homage to the days of vinyl, and it perfectly surmises the band and HANDWRITTEN. Gaslight Anthem has always been one to salute their predecessors, and "45" cuts to the core of that matter. The second and title track, "Handwritten," scores another do-it-yourself anthem for the band. The album's title is particularly apt: the band wears its heart and influences on its sleeve like a badge of honor - the music and lyrics all sound organic and, well, handwritten. "Too Much Blood" has a stomping guitar riff that surrounds great vocals via Brian Fallon; in many ways, it feels tired and exhausted, but because it feels full of soul, it never feels like a drag. Clocking in at just over 2 minutes, "Howl" compacts many of Gaslight Anthem's best qualities into a tight rocking song. The first song written for the album, "Biloxi Parrish" also serves as a highlight with its heartfelt melody paired with blistering guitar work. The penultimate song, "Mae," slows the album down towards ballad territory, but the result is a song that is just as strong as "Too Much Blood.
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I'm very disappointed by all the low ratings this release is getting, if your a true fan of The Gaslight Anthem, you would give this release a solid 5 stars! Brian Fallon is one of today's best rock writers and his band mates guitarist Alex Levine, drummer Benny Horowitz and bassist Alex Rosamilia, bring everything together and form one of the greatest rock bands since 2006. On this their 4th long player "Handwritten", The Gaslight Anthem give us more top notch treasures in "45", which would be a top 40 hit in the 70's. "Keepsake", is a winner through and through, a top 10 song on a fair planet. Other top tunes are the chestnut title track, "Biloxi Parish", "Here Comes My Man", "Too Much Blood" and the classic sounds of "Desire" and "Mae". The band brings in strings on the beautiful tune "National Anthem". Of the 3 songs on the deluxe version, we get the hard chargin' melodic "Blue Dahlia", the excellent bass work of Alex Rosamilia on the Nirvana cover "Sliver" and the Tom Petty classic "You Got Lucky", with sharp guitar by Alex Levine. Brendan O'Brien did a fine job producing this disc. Keep up the great work guys, you're keeping this 52 year old ALIVE!
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Sorry but I have to side with the "middle of the roaders" on this one. Really, I am sorry because I was hoping for something great. I have been a big fan of The Gaslight Anthem for a couple of years now and I have bought all of their previous albums and their lone EP and have not been disappointed with any of it. I even had the pleasure of catching them live and they were amazing. I am a little disappointed in this album though. I would say half the songs are really good (the first three and "Howl") but even those songs are a bit of a departure from the sound and songwriting they crafted in their earlier work. Being from NJ I kind of connected more to their earlier music. It seemed more personal, like they were writing songs about experiences they had been through and people they had encountered and they were letting the listener in on their world. This album does not strike me the same way. The songs seem more like generic stories "created" about the outside world. Its still good music but not the same connection I had hoped for. I remain a Gaslight fan and await (with anticipation) their next Endeavour.
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You know those friends who complain (wrongly, of course) that there isn't any great rock n roll music coming out these days? Let them listen to this album, and see if you can change their minds. I already liked this band a lot before I got this album, but even I was surprised how good this is, from start to finish. There is not a bad song in this collection, and many are great. I think Pearl Jam meets Gin Blossoms, or something like that. Mostly hard-driving rock & roll, with just a bit of a (punk?) edge to it, with a few great ballads thrown in for good measure. If you only buy a few CD's (or downloads) this year, "Handwritten" should be one of them (along with Metric's "Synthetica"). I have heard that this band is one of Bruce Springsteen's favorite bands. I can see why. Awesome job, guys!
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