American Slang

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American Slang
The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang cover.jpg
Studio album by The Gaslight Anthem
Released June 15, 2010 (2010-06-15)
Recorded February 1 – March 1, 2010 at New York Magic Shop, New York, U.S.
Genre Heartland rock, punk blues, folk punk
Length 34:13
Label SideOneDummy
Producer Ted Hutt
The Gaslight Anthem chronology
Live at Park Ave.
American Slang

American Slang is the third studio album by New Jersey–based rock group The Gaslight Anthem. It was released on June 15, 2010 on SideOneDummy Records, which released their previous album, The '59 Sound. The album was produced by 'The '59 Sound producer Ted Hutt.

Writing and Recording[edit]

Fallon stated in an NYC in-studio session, "All these songs came to me in my head. I didn't sit down at the guitar or piano or write lyrics, they all just were kind of there one day." Lead singer songwriter Brian Fallon said that American Slang will move away from the 1950s inspired sound of The '59 Sound. He began writing for the new album in the summer of 2009 while on tour in support of The '59 Sound. "American Slang is just what we do. That's who we are," Fallon says. "You’re presented with this American Dream and all these American possibilities—and then there's the reality of what actually happens with your life." In response to the obvious influences Tom Waits, The Clash, The Supremes and most notably Bruce Springsteen have had on their previous records, he went on to add "This [record] is really the one where we said, ‘All right, well, we’ve got our influences. They’ll speak naturally, but what do we have to say on our own? What does it feel like to put on our own shoes and clothes? What do we sound like, and what's our story?’"[1]


The album was released on June 15, 2010 on SideOneDummy Records. It is the band's second release for the label. The album opened at No. 16 on the Billboard 200, making it the band's highest charting album at the time. It sold over 26,000 copies in its first week of release. It also debuted at No. 18 and No. 12 on the U.K. and Canadian charts, respectively. The band released the first single from the album, "American Slang", on their Facebook page on March 23, 2010, along with a full track list and cover art.[2]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The A.V. ClubA−[5]
Allmusic4/5 stars[6]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[7]
MusicOMH4.5/5 stars[8]
Pitchfork Media(7.3/10)[9]
Sputnikmusic4/5 stars[10]
NME7/10 stars[11]
Drowned in Sound8/10 stars[12]
Rock Sound9/10 stars
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[13]
Spin Magazine8/10 stars[14]
PopMatters8/10 stars[15]

Uncut magazine (July 2010 issue) gave American Slang a 5 star rating and declared it its 'album of the month'. "American Slang delivers spectacularly on all expected fronts. Everything that was great about The '59 Sound is here, but the sound is even bigger, epic without getting blustery." Rock Sound magazine gave the album a 9/10 and also declared it its 'album of the month'.

In December 2010, Exclaim! named American Slang the No. 19 Pop & Rock Album of the year.[16] Exclaim! writer Ben Conoley said "American Slang is somehow your old man and your best friend all at once."

Big Cheese magazine (June 2010 issue) also gave the album 5 stars, saying that "The Gaslight Anthem have created the all-American album that travels by keeping its subject matter to that which everyone can relate to: the pain of a broken heart, salvation from the radio and love by the lights of the bar. The record is a perfect marriage of expert storytelling, superb musicianship and classic melodies."

Classic Rock magazine gave the album 8/10 and declared that "New and old fans alike will be speaking American Slang this summer."

The album reached the No. 3 position on the UK midweek album charts during its first week.

The album debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard 200, moving 27,000 copies,[17] and was the No. 1 independent album for that week.[18]

"Rolling Stone" magazine gave the album 3½ stars out of five, saying that "American Slang arrives with serious advance buzz: The choruses are more sculpted, but the band's tough-as-leather rush is as hard as ever, and Fallon howls so hard, he sounds like he's aiming to get a section of the Jersey Turnpike named after him."

"Rolling Stone" named the album's song "The Diamond Church Street Choir" at No. 39 on their list of 50 Best Songs Of 2010.

The album currently holds a Metascore of 80% on Metacritic, based on 28 professional reviews.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Brian Fallon, Alex Rosamilia, Alex Levine, and Benny Horowitz, except where noted[19].

1."American Slang"3:41
2."Stay Lucky"3:09
3."Bring It On"3:27
4."The Diamond Church Street Choir"3:12
5."The Queen of Lower Chelsea"3:39
8."Old Haunts"3:30
9."The Spirit of Jazz"3:13
10."We Did It When We Were Young"4:16
Total length:34:17


Chart (2010) Peak
Billboard 200[20] 16
Irish Independent Albums Chart[21] 1


Additional backing vocalists[19]
  • Bryan Kienlin
  • Pete Steinkopf
  • Dave Franklin
  • Ted Hutt
  • Hollie Fallon
  • Tom DuHamel
  • Jesse Malin


  1. ^ Published at 7:30 AM on February 19, 2010 By Christina Lee (2010-02-19). "The Gaslight Anthem Talks New Album :: Music :: News :: Paste". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  2. ^ "Gaslight Anthem share "American Slang." March 23, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "American Slang reviews on". Metacritic. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  4. ^ " review". 
  5. ^ "Avclub review". 
  6. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "Review: American Slang". Allmusic. Retrieved June 16, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Slant Magazine review". 
  8. ^ "musicomh review". Archived from the original on August 17, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Pitchfork Media review". 
  10. ^ "Sputnikmusic review". 
  11. ^ "NME review". 
  12. ^ "Drowned in Sound review". 
  13. ^ "Rolling Stone review". 
  14. ^ "SPIN Magazine review". Archived from the original on June 25, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Popmatters review". 
  16. ^ "Pop & Rock Year in Review". Exclaim!. 
  17. ^ "Drake's Thank Me Later Nears Half A Mil In Billboard Debut." June 23, 2010.
  18. ^ "Independent Albums" June 23, 2010.
  19. ^ a b c d American Slang (CD sleeve). The Gaslight Anthem. Los Angeles: SideOneDummy Records. 2008. SD1418-2. 
  20. ^ "THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM'S "AMERICAN SLANG" DEBUTS AT #16 ON THE BILLBOARD TOP 200 ALBUMS CHART". The Audio Perv. 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  21. ^ "Top 10 Independent Artist Albums, Week Ending 17 June 2010". Chart-Track. GfK. Retrieved 8 January 2013.