In 2008 The Hold Steady had reached the peak of their creativity with the great concept album "Stay Positive". Finally the band had succeeded in implementing the lyrical concept of their mastermind Craig Finn musically; the mixture of sophisticated song lyrics, Springsteen, Thin Lizzy and consciously used, stale Bon Jovi solos was simply irresistible. Then keyboarder Franz Nicolay left, and "Heaven Is Whenever" became a bore. After an equally lukewarm solo album by Finn, now comes the sixth work, and the band has found their way back to themselves. It has become rockier again, the production is airier, so to speak. Finn continues to sing about teenage outcasts who pump themselves full of alcohol and drugs, he observes the interfaces of society, those cracks in which anyone can fall who does not pay enough attention to himself. "Teeth Dreams" brilliantly follows up the first four, all of them memorable Hold Steady albums. And with "Oaks" there is even a ten-minute opus for the first time, including an Eighties guitar solo.
Top track: Oaks