Comparisons to Bruce Springsteen have flown thick and fast towards Brian Fallon’s musical output since he split from the Gaslight Anthem and embarked upon a solo career in 2016. It’s fair to say that Sleepwalkers, his second album, will do little to temper those comparisons; Fallon’s preoccupation with emotive storytelling and heartland rock remains, occasionally flying a little too close to a musical rehashing than being the modern reinvention he’s aiming for.
Fallon has stated he wanted to create a “less serious” album with Sleepwalkers, and for the most part he succeeds. If Your Prayers Don’t Get To Heaven is a toe-tapping blend of soul, gospel and good, old-fashioned rock’n’roll, while Come Wander With Me dabbles in upbeat, electro-tinged Americana. But the treacly ballads, such as Proof Of Life, also persist. Their lyrics are slick with indulgent introspection, propped up by sickly sweet yet frustratingly infectious hooks and melodies. Proof, perhaps, that humans always crave a little bit of sugar.