03:26 PM on 04/01/14
Pushin' th' little daisies
I do miss the hyper-detailed lyrical style. Finn is still a genius but I feel like these lyrics are less impactful because I don't care about the characters he mentions -- they are almost all just he, she, you anyway (no names). I cared about Holly and the rest of the gang. I feel like there is less to dig through due to the record having fewer self-references than any other THS album as well.
The production doesn't fit, you're right. The vocal effects still annoy me, especially on the couple of tracks where the reverb just goes beyond a joke. I'm looking at you, Runner's High. For a 'big rock record' the music doesn't hit with any force. Still some great guitar work though. I love Lucero so am stoked on the addition of Slevdige.
Song-by-song this album is really good. I'll give it a lot more spins before I can back this statement up, but it might have as many killer tracks as Stay Positive (which, by the way, also got a P4k BNM). It also has less tracks than Stay Positive, so is a more consistent album. Although I don't think it hits the highs SP did, and so it's still rung below for me (for now).
Separation Sunday will always be their best, followed by Boys and Girls. Stay Positive and Almost Killed Me are killer as well, and Teeth Dreams could be in their league. I think it's better than Heaven is Whenever because I really only still love two songs from that record, Weekenders and We Can Get Together. Which brings me to my final point.
The Hold Steady have already released two of my favourite albums ever, so I don't feel a need for them to drop another classic record. If they can keep writing good albums which each have a few standout tracks that can be added to my imaginary THS best-of mixtape, I'll be happy. Teeth Dreams accomplishes that easily. With more spins, it could mean even more to me.
Nice review -- I liked the stream-of-consciousness style.