Painkillers (Brian Fallon album)

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Painkillers
Brianfallonpainkillers.jpg
Studio album by Brian Fallon
Released March 11, 2016
Recorded 2015
Genre Rock, indie rock, alternative rock, heartland rock
Length 40:33[1]
Label Island
Producer Butch Walker
Brian Fallon chronology
Painkillers
(2016)
Georgia
(2016)Georgia2016
Singles from Painkillers
  1. "A Wonderful Life"
    Released: December 11, 2015[2]

Painkillers is the debut studio album by Brian Fallon, singer/guitarist of American rock band The Gaslight Anthem, released on March 11, 2016, through Island Records.[3]

Background[edit]

Fallon began writing songs for what would become Painkillers before The Gaslight Anthem's 2014 release, Get Hurt, thinking there would be more time off before Get Hurt. He wrote new material and had some from another band of his, Molly and the Zombies, to use for Painkillers already. When the Get Hurt project started, Fallon put the new songs aside to focus on The Gaslight Anthem, realizing that the new songs he initially thought could be The Gaslight Anthem songs would not fit well with the direction the band was going with for Get Hurt. The band knew there would be a hiatus before it was made public so Fallon began writing more songs and put together a plan for the solo release.[4] Following the announced hiatus of The Gaslight Anthem in July 2015, Fallon entered a Nashville studio to record Painkillers with producer Butch Walker, who also plays guitar on the album. Catherine Popper plays bass and Mark Stepro plays drums on the album.[5][6]

Promotion[edit]

In support of the album, Fallon toured portions of the United States, Canada and Europe throughout 2016.[3] Fallon was accompanied by a full band, including Catherine Popper, The Gaslight Anthem guitarist Alex Rosamilia and The Horrible Crowes guitarist Ian Perkins. The band performed songs from Painkillers and also from Elsie, the album from the other band of Fallon and Perkins, The Horrible Crowes.[7]

Fallon performed "A Wonderful Life" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on March 10, 2016.[8] Fallon also performed "A Wonderful Life" on The Daily Show on March 16, 2016.[9]

Singles[edit]

The lead single from Painkillers, "A Wonderful Life", was premiered on The Wall Street Journal's website on December 10, 2015, a day before its digital release date of December 11, 2015.[2][6] "A Wonderful Life" was then serviced to alternative radio on January 12, 2016.[10]

Prior to the album's release, four additional songs were released to digital stores and streaming services. The songs were "Nobody Wins" (January 22),[11] "Smoke" (February 5),[12] "Steve McQueen" (February 19)[13] and "Painkillers" (March 4).[14]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic78/100[15]
Review scores
SourceRating
AbsolutePunk9/10[16]
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Alternative Press8/10[17]
American Songwriter4/5 stars[18]
Exclaim!8/10[19]
The Independent3/5 stars[20]
MOJO4/5 stars[21]
Q3/5 stars[22]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[23]
Uncut7/10[24]

Critical[edit]

Painkillers received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 78 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews" based on 17 reviews.[15]

Jonathan Bernstein of Rolling Stone rated the album three and a half stars out of five and writes, "Painkillers isn't quite a rebirth, but with his band struggling to stay vibrant in recent years, it feels a little like a new morning."[23] Writing for Classic Rock, Emma Johnston states "Fallon doesn't really need the backup of a regular band. With this debut he's placed his stake as an American singer-songwriter of style and substance."[25] In a three out of five star rating, Jess Denham of The Independent calls it "solid, genuinely inspired songwriting that The Gaslight Anthem fans will enjoy."[20] Adam Feibel of Exclaim! rated the album eight out of ten and writes, "Fallon's songwriting is warm and varied, and there's more soul and character in his voice than ever before."[19]

Commercial[edit]

The album debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard 200,[26] and No. 3 on the Top Rock Albums chart, selling 14,000 copies on its first week of release.[27]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Rank List
American Songwriter 29 Top 50 Albums of 2016[28]

Track listing[edit]

Sources: iTunes[29] and ASCAP[30]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."A Wonderful Life"Brian Fallon3:11
2."Painkillers"Fallon, Butch Walker3:06
3."Among Other Foolish Things"Fallon2:59
4."Smoke"Fallon3:43
5."Steve McQueen"Fallon, Dan Wilson3:21
6."Nobody Wins"Fallon, Walker2:48
7."Rosemary"Fallon3:39
8."Red Lights"Fallon3:36
9."Long Drives"Fallon3:35
10."Honey Magnolia"Fallon3:29
11."Mojo Hand"Fallon, Walker3:30
12."Open All Night"Fallon3:36
Total length:40:33

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from AllMusic[31]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[32] 36
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[33] 20
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[34] 58
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[35] 27
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[36] 44
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[37] 12
Irish Albums (IRMA)[38] 35
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[39] 57
UK Albums (OCC)[40] 13
US Billboard 200[41] 30
US Digital Albums (Billboard)[42] 10
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[43] 2
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[44] 3

Release history[edit]

Source: Amazon.com[45]

Region Date Format(s) Label
United States March 11, 2016 Island

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Monger, James Christopher. "Painkillers - Brian Fallon - Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Amazon.com - A Wonderful Life - Brian Fallon - MP3 Downloads". ASIN B018XLBLD2. Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Sacher, Andrew (December 10, 2015). "The Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon releases "A Wonderful Life" off his solo LP, debuted "Low Love" live, expands tour". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ Brendza, Zach (January 12, 2016). "Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem talks Twitter, Painkillers and more". Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Gaslight Anthem Singer Brian Fallon Preps Debut Solo LP, Tour". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. October 6, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Listen to Gaslight Anthem Singer Brian Fallon's Solo Song 'A Wonderful Life' (Exclusive)". The Wall Street Journal. News Corp. December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  7. ^ Fallon, Brian (December 17, 2015). "January Tour Info". BrianFallon.net. 
  8. ^ "VIDEO: Brian Fallon Performs 'A Wonderful Life' on LATE SHOW". BroadwayWorld.com. March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  9. ^ The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
  10. ^ "RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (January 2016) (Part Two)". POP! Goes The Charts. January 1, 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Amazon.com - Nobody Wins - Brian Fallon - MP3 Downloads". ASIN B01AOP05IM. Retrieved January 22, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Amazon.com - Smoke - Brian Fallon - MP3 Downloads". ASIN B01AOP0W26. Retrieved February 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Amazon.com - Steve McQueen - Brian Fallon - MP3 Downloads". ASIN B01AOP0XBQ. Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Amazon.com - Painkillers - Brian Fallon - MP3 Downloads". ASIN B01AOP0SRK. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b "Reviews for Painkillers by Brian Fallon". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  16. ^ Manning, Craig. "Review: Brian Fallon - Painkillers". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved March 7, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Brian Fallon – Painkillers". Alternative Press: 100. April 2016. 
  18. ^ Beviglia, Jim (March 10, 2016). "Brian Fallon: Painkillers". American Songwriter. ForASong Media, LLC. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  19. ^ a b Feibel, Adam (March 9, 2016). "Brian Fallon - Painkillers". Exclaim!. Ian Danzig. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  20. ^ a b Denham, Jess (March 3, 2016). "Solid, genuinely inspired songwriting for The Gaslight Anthem fans". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved March 3, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Brian Fallon – Painkillers". MOJO: 88. April 2016. 
  22. ^ "Brian Fallon – Painkillers". Q: 105. April 2016. 
  23. ^ a b Bernstein, Jonathan (March 4, 2016). "Gaslight Anthem frontman quiets down and looks forward". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Brian Fallon – Painkillers". Uncut: 73. April 2016. 
  25. ^ Johnston, Emma (February 19, 2016). "Gaslight Anthem frontman steps up to the next level with his debut solo album". Classic Rock. TeamRock. Retrieved March 1, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Billboard 200". Billboard. April 2, 2016. 
  27. ^ Kevin Rutherford (March 24, 2016). "Killswitch Engage, 3 Doors Down Lead Veteran Debuts on Rock Albums Charts". Billboard. 
  28. ^ American Songwriter Staff (December 1, 2016). "Top 50 Albums Of 2016". American Songwriter. Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  29. ^ iTunes - Music - Painkillers by Brian Fallon
  30. ^ ACE Writers Search for Fallon Brian Michael
  31. ^ "Painkillers - Brian Fallon - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Brian Fallon – Painkillers". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  33. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Brian Fallon – Painkillers" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – Brian Fallon – Painkillers" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  35. ^ "Brian Fallon Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  36. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Brian Fallon – Painkillers" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  37. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  38. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 11, 2016". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  39. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Brian Fallon – Painkillers". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  40. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  41. ^ "Brian Fallon Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  42. ^ "Brian Fallon Chart History (Digital Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  43. ^ "Brian Fallon Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  44. ^ "Brian Fallon Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  45. ^ "Brian Fallon: Painkillers: Music". Amazon.com. ASIN B01AWPIP4A. Retrieved January 25, 2016.