The Gaslight Anthem Creator Still At It With Solo LP #2
By Cameron Martinez
Most people aren’t lucky enough to leave behind a music legacy worth noting after being in just one band, but Brian Fallon will be remembered as being the front man of two bands (so far) and having a humbly successful solo career as well. Known largely for his band The Gaslight Anthem and perhaps not as largely for his project under the moniker The Horrible Crowes, Brian Fallon shows no sign of stopping as he continues his solo career with his sophomore studio album, ‘Sleepwalkers’.
The New Jersey native is known for fusing many different styles of rock and taking you through a journey through rock and roll history, and that’s no different on “Sleepwalkers”. Opening up the album is “If Your Prayers Don’t Get To Heaven”, and Fallon’s gritty vocals have already transported us to an older time as he belts out to a loved one that he won’t leave this place unless he’s leaving with them. The song speaks about how we sometimes feel like our prayers are going nowhere and rejuvenates those prayers with a new sense of hope. This is a catchy opener that brings this record to life from the very beginning.
You will find traces of past work from Fallon on this record, which can be expected since his previous projects were created from the same heart, the same soul, but he is also not retreading any of those works. He has found an isolated identity that is separate from The Gaslight Anthem or The Horrible Crowes, which is no small feat. “Etta James” is a slower track that presents that soul feel that we know Brian Fallon is capable of as he speaks of the trouble of love, and five tracks later we get fuzz infused guitars supporting us through “My Name Is the Night (Color Me Black)” in which the singer sings about being saved by that same love.
Fallon experiments the most in the album’s title track, as we get some jazzy sax and trumpet to open it up like we’re about to watch a sitcom from the 90s, but it does a great job of summarizing the album’s theme as a whole. Fallon state’s that the name Sleepwalkers comes from this idea of a dream state, the person you present to the majority of the world. It’s not your true self. You are only the whole you when you are alone or with somebody you love and trust, a concept that really hits home and most people can relate to.
By straying away from The Gaslight Anthem sound, Fallon is able to inject some R&B into his new LP as well as more southern rock grooves to take us on a roller coaster of emotions all throughout. You’ll find lyrics along lines of, “You’ve been crying, yeah, I’ve seen you. Honey, I’ve been crying too,” to lyrics like, “And when we both grow old and there's nothing left to say, I want you to know that I loved you all my days,” lyrics that showcase a very personal record for Fallon. He has stated that he wanted to write about the present, not past or future, for this record, and that translates into an album that is very relatable and emotional. This is an album for Gaslight Anthem fans, soul fans, rock fans, lovers, dreamers, and everyone in between. In his solo career, Brian Fallon is firing on all cylinders.
Listen to: “Sleepwalkers”, “If Your Prayers Don’t Get To Heaven”, “Etta James”.