In “Forget Me Not,” Brian Fallon continues to take the spirit of his 2015 album Painkillers and expand it by juxtaposing the warmer tones of his guitar production and upbeat drum track against a melancholic romantic story.
The lead guitar tone that introduces the song is reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” (a comparison which Fallon will undoubtedly hate hearing for the hundred billionth time), but not before it completely comes into its own.
Fallon screams “Stacy” onto the track before he reveals the protagonist has actually passed away. It’s a story detailing the protagonist’s struggle with his death, but the bigger loss of no longer having the opportunity to spend time with his aforementioned love one, Stacy.
This is Fallon at his best. He crafts these nostalgic little stories about ghosts and graves while maintaining an emotional plausibility for his characters. He digs deep into the loss he illustrated in the Gaslight Anthem’s 2014 album Get Hurt and creates something a little more dynamic. That album treated loss with more cynicism than his previous albums sonically, which took away from the allure of what Fallon and his collaborators are so good at.
In his recent solo ventures, Fallon does a lot of work to shift away from the cynicism of his last Gaslight Anthem album. Fallon distinguishes the bittersweet nature of losing someone you love to one’s own demise. The loss of interacting with that loved one is explored further with Fallon’s protagonist explaining how they could still be together somehow in spirit. The major key used in the song aims to continue the nostalgic sweetness even while Fallon’s ghost character continues to reminisce about a life they are no longer a part of.
It’s all for naught, though, because, in the end, he accepts his circumstance and pleads with Stacy not to love anyone as much as she loved him. Fallon’s vocal delivery sounds so defeated in this section that it’s almost exclusively a plead that this ghost hears himself. It’s the denial of that lies in the wake of our grief that people will move on.
Fallon continues to effectively put all his emotions on the line, from his vocal delivery and his metaphors to the upbeat nature of his music. It’s all a celebration of life despite the grief that is imprinted onto the track. This is the gift Brian Fallon brings to each of his songs. There’s always hope in the darkest of circumstances, and in the end, those struggling (even in death) can and should reflect on the best parts of their life whether it’s a memory, loved one, or a melancholy song that could somehow make you feel a whole lot better.
He has announced spring U.S. tour, which you can find below. Brian Fallon’s album Sleepwalkers is available for pre-order here and will be released February 9, 2018.
[Featured Image by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images]