Album Reviews: January 2007

 

The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls In America (Vagrant) 22/01/2007

T: The oft cited reference of Springsteen has never been more apparent than on this, the band's third album, and it would appear that they've been playing "Darkness On the Edge of Town" more than any other albums by the Boss, which is nice, as that's by far my favourite of the hungry hearted one's long players. Every now and again, a David Bowie musical phrasing comes to the fore, especially on the marvellous "Hot Soft Light" and especially the title of its following track, "Same Kooks". If you're driving, "Boys and Girls In America" goes from being a damn fine album to a fucking fantastic one.
Although there are recurring themes throughout the album, notably the characters Holly, Gideon and Charlemagne - all previously used to great effect on the latter albums, this is anything but a concept album and is full of scenarios we can all relate to through the eyes of these conquistadors. If anyone's going to make a better album this year, they're really going to have to go some.

N: Mmm, as we were talking earlier on, that reference you were looking for may have been the Afghan Whigs, and especially Greg Dulli's solo work, although later on in the album, it just takes off into the stratosphear and leaves any reference behind. However this is a fine "road movie" of an album, and one that shouldn't be cast aside. 9/10

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