Music News & Reviews

Album review: The Hold Steady


The Hold Steady

Stay Positive | 4 stars out of 5

The Hold Steady's new album, Stay Positive, is filled with the kind of boozy optimism that strikes around last call, when the ideas are always a bit grander than the execution.

Craig Finn and the guys aim for the near-impossible welding of indie-rock attitude and concerns — as well as alternative-leaning lyrics and phrasing — to broad, arena-rock anthems, and they come close to the mark, especially in the gritty-grand Sequestered in Memphis. The “sing-along songs” they idolize in the dynamic new single Constructive Summer and in the earnest, epic title track succeed as new-millennium Springsteen.

What The Hold Steady lack in precision, they more than make up for in enthusiasm.

Glenn Gamboa, Newsday