MUSIC REVIEW: The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady
Stay Positive
Vagrant Records

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On their fourth LP Stay Positive, the follow-up to their much buzzed about 2006 album Boys and Girls in America, The Hold Steady add a bit of sass to their Bruce Springsteen-loving roots. The most obvious example of the band’s inner punk yearning to break free is on a song called “Constructive Summer.” The track boasts big arena rock sounds but the lyrics are quick to name check a different genre. “Me and my friends are like/the drums on Lust for Life,” roars lead singer Craig Finn in a nod to hedonistic punk god Iggy Pop. The album goes on to offer up songs about the down and out going out in a blaze of glory (“Joke About Jamaica”) while title track “Stay Positive” is a wry take on the easy come/easy go nature of fame.

Amy Wagner

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