The Hold Steady – Stay Positive

July 16, 2008

Stay Positive album cover

“Excuses and half-truths and fortified wine…”

On their fourth album, Stay Positive, Brooklyn based band the Hold Steady have made a record with both depth and rock star heroics, with lyrics that hit somewhere between Jim Carroll and Bruce Springsteen. The band hits a pinnacle of sorts with the mid-album track “Lord, I’m Discouraged” that exemplifies all the aforementioned traits. Stay Positive is by no means a perfect album, as it’s got its highs and lows, but it is, more so than any other record I’ve heard by them up to this point, the most fully formed and self-assured work of art they’ve yet made. Plus it rocks, so what more can you ask for? Standout cuts: “Constructive Summer,” “Sequestered In Memphis,” “Lord, I’m Discouraged” and “Stay Positive.”


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