October 19, 2006

The Hold Steady's Boys and Girls of America

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Here’s the thing: I love The Hold Steady. With their previous two albums The Hold Steady earned the title of “The World’s Best Bar Band,” which, I think, doesn’t give them nearly enough credit for their beautifully prose-lyrics and winding plot lines that continue throughout their albums with recurring characters and highly emotional moments. That being said, I think it’s time The Hold Steady grew up. The majority of their lyrics on both their previous albums concentrated on high-school or college-age characters, and it worked. This time around, however, it seems a little pathetic. Their newest album Boys and Girls of America is the most main-stream of their albums so far. The song “Chips Ahoy” has been the most promoted, but features a chord progression that sounds just like every song on Separation Sunday, only as if Bruce Springsteen remixed it. This is not a good thing. I’m willing to let this go , but if you’re new to The Hold Steady, do not listen to this album until you have fallen in love with their previous work.