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The Hold Steady: Separation SundaySeparation Sunday (2005)
Reviewer Rating: 4.5
Contributed by: lol_omg_wtf_namblalol_omg_wtf_nambla
(others by this writer | submit your own)
So concept albums are the next big thing. What with Coheed and the Volta stirring things up with their epic (if sometimes completely incomprehensible) tales of fantasy and Green Day redefining Spin and Rolling Stonesí definition of rock. Yep, it seems like tying the songs on your album together into an overarching narrative is the thing to do these days. Itís not a bad idea, really. It makes an albumís work stand by itself, and can add a deeper level of meaning to a bandís songs. Generally, I like concept albums, so this trend is pretty OK in my book.
Nelson Algren came to Paddy at a party at the dead end alley. He told him what to celebrate.See? These guys are pretty cool. The other interesting lyrical tic is the use of Biblical and Catholic imagery. Say what you want about the Catholic Church, but you canít really beat the apocalypse and crucifixions for dramatic moments. They're not a Christian band, but you can tell they've opened a bible and seen what's inside, and that's definitely not a bad thing to do. It's always good when a band can demonstrate they're well read, and know about the shit they're dropping.
ďSo why the hell,Ē I hear you asking, ďdo you keep mentioning the Streets? These two bands sound nothing alike?Ē Good question. I think this album has a lot in common with A Grand Donít Come for Free. Neither one is a precisely shocking example of skill in their respective genres, but the excellent storytelling mixed with the overall coolness of sound made it a fun listen. Separation Sunday will not redefine modern rock and roll music, but they bring it hard and put a whole lot of damn energy and thought into what theyíre putting across. I would recommend this to anyone who likes old-school rock music that you can dance to, and doesnít mind hearing a good story too.
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