Year 2, Day 30: Handwritten

Year 2, Album 30: Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten

Tracklisting

  1. “45”
  2. Handwritten
  3. Here Comes My Man
  4. Mulholland Drive
  5. Keepsake
  6. Too Much Blood
  7. Howl
  8. Biloxi Parish
  9. Desire
  10. Mae
  11. National Anthem

(bonus tracks: 12. Blue Dahlia; 13. Silver; 14. You Got Lucky)

About the Album

Handwritten is the fourth studio album by American rock band, Gaslight Anthem. The album was released on July 20 2012. Handwritten peaked at number three on the United States Billboard 200 chart; and peaked at number one on both the United States Alternative Albums and United States Rock albums charts respectively.

Thoughts on the Album

So we have reached the 75% finished mark for this year’s project; and it only seems like yesterday that we just started. We have ten albums and ten days left, lets make year 2 of the Broad Street Playlist go out rocking. Today’s album, is Gaslight Anthem‘s 2012 release, Handwritten.

The first song I heard off the album was the song (and lead single), “45,” which I remember it playing while in the menus for EA Sports’ NHL13. It’s weird, I have found a good number of my favorite bands/artists and songs from playing EA Sports’ video game titles. You could say I have bad taste or whatever, but taste in music is purely subjective. But I digress, we are here to discuss this album.

So… anyway, the album is a pretty good one. The album is full of fast, aggressive, and personal tracks that majority of people (if not everyone) could own as their own. The opener, “45” can only be described as “torridly paced”. It immediately beckons you with it’s opening guitar riff and drum intro. The guitar work during the bridge of “45” is dark and intense, in good way. The chorus of the opener is a big, booming, huge, soaring one that’s meant to be shouted out loud or sung along…

Hey, turn the record over/Hey, I’ll see you on the flip side/There you go, turn the key and engine over/ Let her go, and let someone else lay at her feet.

It’s an ideal opener and ideal lead single. Infectiously catchy. It also has a sister song, HowlHowl, is even faster and more aggressive than “45” is. If you stop listening for literally a minute, you miss it, as Howl comes in at a smidge over two minutes long. It’s a hell of a hook, full of energy of that of live Gaslight Anthem. Once more, it’s hard not to sing along to it either.

The entire album is high energy and uptempo. Fallon, Rosamilia, and Perkins hold shop and put on a guitar clinic with Handwritten, and it’s found in songs like Mulholland Drive and Too Much Blood. Too Much Blood slows it down considerably compared to the rest of the album, build around a punishing guitar riff. Mulholland Drive, the fourth song on the album, is another standout featuring more precise guitar work.

Conclusion

This was the first Gaslight Anthem album I picked up. But I fell in love with it and band. Definitely give it a listen. It’s one of those albums that can stick with you.

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