January 26, 2023
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Life & Culture

Review: Emotionally charged songs fuel rock release “Get Hurt”

The Gaslight Anthem

"Get Hurt"

Swathed in gloomy guitar chords, Brian Fallon is feebly questioning some long-gone individual: “Or would you talk about if I loved her now?/ Tell my sins to God out loud./ Would you cry, cry ’cause I was gone?” Fallon asks these questions, each line sincerely wistful, painting the evocative, solemn portrait that is “Get Hurt,” the fifth studio release from New Jersey–based rock band The Gaslight Anthem. Even on its fifth time around, the group pulls no punches. By employing a potent combination of emotion and catchiness, “Get Hurt” prevails as a satisfyingly cathartic ride through the rock genre.

There is a heartfelt sadness that pervades “Get Hurt,” though exactly where this air of heartache originates is hard to say. Be it lead singer Fallon’s gravely vocalizations or the soulful, longing wails of lead guitarist Alex Rosamilia’s electric guitar, each facet of the group’s sound seems tailored toward evoking a twinge of pain in the listener. “Mama’s Boys,” one of the album’s most melancholy tracks, opens with a cooing harmonica, paired with Fallon’s yearning voice for a positively heartbreaking moment.

Rock fans may fear, however, that The Gaslight Anthem has lost it’s rock ’n’ roll roots to the blues, but this simply isn’t the case. The group has instead merged the two, crafting a brand of solemn rock that still delivers the intensity that embodies the rock genre. Opener “Stay Vicious” is an example of this dynamic, coupling aggressive drumming with woeful chords for an intense yet tender listening experience.

“Get Hurt” may, for some listeners, prove to be the saddest foray into rock in recent memory, though this is no hindrance to the album’s success. What the group has crafted is an entirely memorable collection of tracks, set apart by its ability to elicit genuine emotion while still upholding the best aspect of rock music.

Steven Pirani can be reached at spirani1@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @stevenpirani