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Boys & Girls In America by The Hold Steady

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Reviewed on 14th January 2007.


Boys & Girls In America

By The Hold Steady

From the opening chords that travel through heavy guitar and jangly piano riffs, this album feels like an old friend. There's plenty of songs involving drinking, like 'Party Pit', where a girl is "gonna walk around and drink some more". In first track 'Stuck Between Stations', "words won't save your life" is written for poet and suicide-victim John Berryman. The main theme to the whole album, which you might have guessed by the name, is boys, girls and relationships. 'Chips Ahoy' is about a relationship during a horse race, with catchy "whoa" backing vocals. 'First Night' is the first ballad on the album, which is the only one to feature the named characters Holly, Charlemagne and Gideon from the previous concept album 'Separation Sunday, a heavier affair that differs completely from this new gem where you can fit yourself into the songs; rather than listen to a story of someone else. On here the songs are unique to each other; 'Massive Nights' has a ska feel to it, with backing shouts and brass backing. 'Same Kooks' has Status Quo style guitar riffs and funky organ to produce many layers of sound for your ears to try and latch onto. Another ballad 'Citrus' calms it down to just an acoustic guitar and accordion, but the pace is still upbeat. Craig Finns deep, gruff vocals could be Irish if they were not in an American accent; as he speaks more than sings the vocals a little like Adam Duritz. 'Chillout Tent', about two individuals searching for something different, who try to escape by taking drugs and ending up in the Chillout Tent with "oranges and cigarettes", has guest vocal appearances by Elizabeth Elmore and Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner. End track 'Southtown Girls' has a country theme with heavy guitars laying down solid chords. Overall this album is highly recommended, one that you can play on repeat for hours. And it can appeal to many people, with the vast variety of styles crammed into eleven songs.



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On 18th January 2007 at 15:18 Anonymous 3919 wrote...

This kicks ass and has been in heavy rotation on my stereo. What's more they've just announced a date at Fibbers on the 20th Feb.



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