Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The Best Records of 2008 - The Hold Steady's Stay Positive
The Hold Steady are my favorite band. I cannot be objective when it comes to them. They are such a huge part of my life and I love them. I thought the best way to talk about their recent record "Stay Positive" would be to copy and paste and email I sent to some friends right after "Stay Positive" revealed itself to me. It's full of true passion. I really, really love this band. Here it is...
I've had it for a month now and it just wasn't catching me. I would
listen here and there, but kept going back to like three or four
songs and skipping whole chunks at a time.
Three days ago, I made it a point to listen to the whole thing. To
give it my full attention. To listen to it two or three times if I
needed to. I didn't need to. By the time track three ended, I knew
that this was it. This is the album the Hold Steady have been
promising to make since record one. It's their masterpiece. It's
easily their best record and could quite possibly be one of the
single greatest rock 'n roll records EVER recorded.
It's exciting and It's contemplative, it's sad and it's funny, it's
nostalgic and it's right now, It's fresh and familiar. It's a study
of contradictions that work so perfectly together. It's inspiring.
It makes me want to listen to nothing but the Hold Steady. I just
keep going back and suddenly all the older songs are better. I was
running into getting sick of them because I've listened so much, but
now they're new.
I don't know how they did this. I couldn't have loved the Hold Steady
more then I did after "Boys and Girls". But I do. I love them more. I
want them to be the only band in the world. There just isn't room for
If you haven't been able to spend time with "Stay Positive", do it.
Please. You may think "One For the Cutters" is plodding, but then
around the fifth or sixth time, you hear the story and the
harpsichord and you'll realize it's the best song they've ever done,
until you hear "Slapped Actress" which is really the best song
they've ever done. It's so good.
I get chills.
This is why someone invented music
This is the greatest band in the world.
Be happy you're alive for them.