PHW Album of the Month - 7/08

Sorry to be so boring and predictable with my selection for PHW’s Album Of The Month for July, but seriously, what were my choices? June saw 2 of the year’s best so far in Fleet Foxes and Wagonwheel Blues, but July just wasn’t as giving.

I did write a (for me) in depth review of Stay Positive a few weeks ago that I think says some things about the album that other reviewers haven’t, but overall I’m not as blown away by Stay Positive as I was by Separation Sunday or Boys & Girls In America. Not even close. There are a large handful of stand out tracks that come close to equaling the band’s best though, and in a slow month like this that’s enough.

In short, Stay Positive finds the usual assortment of The Hold Steady’s archetypes growing up bit. Plenty of binge drinking and youth-gone-wild sensationalism abound, but those familiarities are tempered by a world weariness not yet heard from Craig Finn and crew. The most successful songs are the ones that forego new tricks and just sound like Boys & Girls In America leftovers - “Sequestered In Memphis”, “Yeah Sapphire”, and “Magazines” especially. In other words, rock.

Stream :: Constructive Summer / Sequestered In Memphis / Lord I’m Discouraged
(from Stay Positive. Buy here)

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