Album Review of Elsie by The Horrible Crowes.

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The Horrible Crowes

Elsie by The Horrible Crowes

Release Date: Sep 6, 2011
Record label: Side One Dummy
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter

80 Music Critic Score
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Elsie - Very Good, Based on 6 Critics

Rolling Stone - 100
Based on rating 5/5

On this side project, Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon trades his main band's Springsteenian punk for pianos and ballad choruses - moving up the East Coast corridor not far from Billy Joel country. Fallon drops his trademark cheap-scotch growl to a whisper, singing about loneliness ("Cherry Blossoms") and missed opportunities ("Blood Loss"). The songs are more subdued, but he doesn't skimp on conviction, often playing the patron saint of hard-luck cases (including his own).

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Sputnikmusic - 94
Based on rating 4.7/5

Review Summary: Brian Fallon and longtime friend/Gaslight guitar tech Ian Perkins collaborate on a record that flawlessly juxtaposes despair and sadness with resilience and hope. If you're familiar with The Gaslight Anthem, I reckon I don't need to speak at length about Brian Fallon's masterful storytelling abilities, where his gravelly, rugged voice operates with the heartfelt conviction and gusto of a fiery preacher delivering his homily. If you've never heard Gaslight, then here's a quick crash course: the New Jersey-bred Fallon has gone on record saying that he has ambitions of Gaslight attaining the same prestige as fellow statesman Bruce Springsteen - The Boss has even played with the quartet on stage - and while Gaslight will always be his top priority, he sought an outlet where he could fuel his burning desire to write songs in the vein of Tom Waits, Nick Cave, or The Afghan Whigs' Greg Dulli.

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AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10

Fans tend to tout Brian Fallon as punk rock’s very own Bruce Springsteen, with songs that split the difference between the Boss’ heartland rock and New Jersey’s 21st century punk revival. The Springsteen similarities don’t stop with Elsie, the first release from Fallon’s Horrible Crowes side project, but they’re less evident; if anything, these songs sound less like the product of Born to Run-era E Street Band and more like Springsteen’s solo ruminations circa Nebraska. The music is smoky and slow-moving, with sparse, acoustic-heavy arrangements replacing the Gaslight Anthem’s tattooed electric stomp.

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Consequence of Sound - 44
Based on rating C-

Brian Fallon has a very distinct sound. His raspy, before-you-clear-your-throat-in-the-morning voice fronts New Jersey’s punk-esque quartet The Gaslight Anthem, which have put out two stellar releases thus far. Elsie, the debut from Fallon’s The Horrible Crowes side project, turns down the amps and pace a bit, and for the most part, forgoes Fallon’s signature howl in lieu of an intimate whisper.

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BBC Music
Their review was positive

A touching, tragic album from Gaslight Anthem frontman and his “inspiration”. Mischa Pearlman 2011 At Reading Festival last year, Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon introduced to the crowd to a guy who had joined them on guitar for a few songs. "This gentleman right here is named Ian Perkins," he told the thousands of people in the crowd. "People always ask, ‘Is that your roadie?’ No.

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American Songwriter
Their review was negative

Blazing out New Jersey like the bastard sons of Bruce Springsteen, the Gaslight Anthem have hammered out some truly anthemic songs set in the ironically named Garden State. The quartet embraced the Boss not as a trendy influence, but as a birthright, which means they populated their songs with the kind of hardscrabble characters who are underrepresented in rock music today. Sounding like he sang from experience, frontman Brian Fallon cultivated the grit and grain in his voice and treated his songs like treasures salvaged from back alleys and street gutters rather than like compositions written down on paper.

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