While the comparisons to the Jersey shore’s golden boy Bruce Springsteen is perhaps lazy for critics, it’s hard not to hear the Gaslight Anthem picking up that mantle from the Boss and running with it on the lovely opener “Great Expectations”. Led by singer Brian Fallon, the group nails the high-energy, Killers-lite title track that sounds a bit like the Replacements circa Tim. There’s a thread through this record that works extremely well, whether it’s the mid-tempo, tight pop of “Old White Lincoln” or the equally gorgeous rock fuelling “High Lonesome”, even if they cop a line or two from Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire”. But the consistency is always high, especially on the urgent, small-town escape number “Miles Davis & The Cool” and perhaps the finest song “The Patient Ferris Wheel”. Oh, and then there’s “Casanova, Baby!” which is excellent also. And then there’s “Meet Me by the River’s Edge”. Oh hell, the whole damn thing is great!
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