At this point, 15 years into his career, all comparisons between Brian Fallon and fellow Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen are just an exercise in lazy journalism … that being said, Local Honey is Fallon’s Nebraska.
The stripped down collection of sweet, melancholy tunes that make up Local Honey may frustrate the punk rock kids raised on Gaslight Anthem looking for another collection of raucous jams, but this latest solo endeavor perfectly highlights Fallon’s evolution to one of the strongest songwriters to come out of the early aughts punk scene.
Like Springsteen’s E Street-less Nebraska, Local Honey is an exercise in restraint. Gone are the distorted guitars and driving rhythm section, replaced with mainly acoustic guitars, the occasional piano, and Fallon’s haunting vocals and most personal lyrics to date focusing on love, family, and vulnerability.
Gaslight Anthem are pretty far in the rearview at this point and Fallon, at 40, has settled into life with a wife and kids. Local Honey perfectly captures the introspectiveness, feeling of optimism, gratefulness tinged with a little nostalgia. Though Fallon already has two solo LPs to his name, this is the first album that really sound like a solitary exercise. The way he wrings every bit of emotion from a song like “You Have Stolen My Heart,” it sounds like eavesdropping on a couple.
Local Honey may not have the swagger and noise of a Gaslight Anthem record, but there’s no mistaking it’s Fallon at his most sincere.