Music

[Rock]

The Hold Steady

Heaven is Whenever

Image
The Hold Steady, Heaven is Whenever

“You can’t kiss every girl,” Craig Finn sadly cautions early in Heaven Is Whenever. Unfortunately, the more appropriate wisdom gleaned from The Hold Steady’s fifth studio album is ultimately “You can’t go home again.”

The Details

The Hold Steady
Heaven is Whenever
Two stars
Beyond the Weekly
The Hold Steady, official site
Billboard: Heaven is Whenever

Whether keyboardist Franz Nicolay saw the writing on the wall or his January departure left a bigger hole than his bandmates could plaster over, the effort falls sharply short of immediate predecessors Boys and Girls in America and Stay Positive. The same seedy dives, shady rendezvous and listless characters still inhabit The Hold Steady’s mythologized Minneapolis, only now the relentless insider phrasing is more monotonous than inventive, and Finn’s rousing calls to action have all but fallen silent, buried beneath one aimless, muddled melody after another. He’s not yet a grizzled loner muttering about the old days at the end of the bar. But the regulars have heard his same old stories a few too many times before.

Share

Julie Seabaugh

Get more Julie Seabaugh

Commenting Policy

Previous Discussion:

  • The synthesizer/keyboard player, vocalist and songwriter talks about pushing forward, artistic freedom and the crazy genesis of OMD's biggest hit, "If You Leave."

  • After gunmen left 89 dead at one of their gigs in Paris last November, they’re now linked to one of history’s worst terrorist attacks. Helping ...

  • Covers of The Beatles and Celine Dion, a parade of hits and a giant, inflatable ball rolling over the crowd.

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story