Heaven Is Whenever
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Heaven Is Whenever

3 May 2010

7.49 (VAT included if applicable)
Song Title
The Sweet Part Of The City
Soft In The Center
The Weekenders
The Smidge
Rock Problems
We Can Get Together
Hurricane J
Barely Breathing
Our Whole Lives
A Slight Discomfort

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 3 May 2010
  • Label: Rough Trade
  • Copyright: 2010 Vagrant Records, LLC. under exclusive license to Rough Trade Records Ltd.
  • Total Length: 41:16
  • Genres:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,240 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hold Steady - Continue to Hold Steady 1 May 2010
Format:Audio CD
3.5 stars

Craig Finn's belief in the redemptive power of Rock n Roll is so infectious that you want the Hold Steady to succeed at everything they do and continue to proudly proclaim them as the best "bar band" in the world. Albums like "Boys and Girls in America" was unafraid of cliché, full of huge high adrenaline anthems and on times reached a fever pitch of Springsteen proportions on songs like the wonderful "First Night" the delirious turbo charged "Stuck between Stations" and the continuing tales of Holly, Gideon and Charlemagne explored on earlier brilliant outings like "Separation Sunday". These were no mere E Street copyists and in Finn they had a great lyricist and the Randy Newman for the teenage experience. Next up was the "Stay Positive" which had its moments but didn't really advance the cause that far and now we have "Heaven is whenever" which is a good album but certainly not a great album.

Clearly the departure of their charismatic keyboard wizard Franz Nicolay has caused a rethink and some of the songs which emerge on this album are real gems. The themes in the songs are slightly more personal but ultimately doomed relationships and ill-advised romances loom large. The opener "Sweet part of the city" does suggest a new direction within the confines of "street scene" ballads and is a true highlight. The ode to the music fan "We can get together" is full of references to bands including Husker Du and Todd Rundgren music and will have crowds singing along at the top of their voices. "Hurricane J" is the Hold Steady "do power pop" and it works in spades, it carries you with is sheer exuberance and is full of Cheap Trick style licks, ditto "Soft in the Center" with its excellent harmonies and echoes of Springsteen.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A short, early view, after two listens 22 April 2010
By A. Glen
Format:Audio CD
I listened to this record twice through, streaming it from the Guardian website last night (It's easy to find the preview there if you want:guardian.co.uk/music). From what I've heard, I'll be pre-ordering it directly.

My first encounter with The Hold Steady was their third album, Boys and Girls in America, and I've seen them pretty recently so while I'm not exactly a die-hard, from the beginning fan, they have made a real impression on me in the last few years.

This is a pretty shallow reflection on the album, as I've not had the chance to listen to it repeatedly, but I will say they seem to have found a way to accomodate the desire to move away from the more bombastic BAGIA sound while keeping the songwriting and energy levels exceptionally high. Since the way they used traditional US rock styles along with sometimes self-consciously naive, sometimes almost arch lyricism is what attracted me to the band in the first place, this album definitely counts as a success to me.

Since Franz Nicolay is no longer playing with the band, we're having to say goodbye to a lot of the twinkling pianos and organ chops, along with some of the more obviously punk influenced "Woah-oh-woah-oh" singalongs. Sadly missed, but the understated keys and pedals steel playing make up for it.

All in all, an excllent record from the two listens I've given it, and I'm looking forward to getting physical copy and getting to know it as well as BAGIA
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are We Listening To The Same Album? 31 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I'm looking at these reviews and I'm thinking are we listening to the same album?

I had all the hold steady albums but I left this one til last and I was worried that their streak of 4 fantastic albums would run dry.
As soon as the opening track folk style guitar plays you know that it's not going to be the same as the other albums.
Franz and his mustache is sorely missed but they make up for it with a range of different instruments and backing vocals.

You didn't think they could churn out the same album over and over and we wouldn't get sick of it, I think this is possibly the biggest risk a band can take experimenting with genres and styles but it's the best bands that can pull it off.
Song Highlights
>Soft in the Center - A real fantastic tune, the chorus is key here. A Real singalong chorus and perfect bit of simple advice "you can't get every girl".
>Rock Problems - This is as rocky as they get on the album. Giving us our dose of Barre Chords and you know what I think we can sympathize.
>We Can Get Together - Touching, beautiful tribute to drummer Matthew Fletcher, Craig shows his soft underbelly. This is easily as good as 'First Night'; Heavenly.
>Hurricane J - A new character is introduced to us Jessie. I don't know what about the song makes it click but it's an instant hit.
>Barely Breathing - Containing a clarinet solo so you know it's good. The lyrics are funny, beats are funky and you can't help but smile when Craig Finn asks "Who the hells the blue guy?" when he is given a pamphlet of goddess Krishna.
>A Slight Discomfort - What a way to end the album, great lyrics, excellent song but I especially like the way it concludes the album, pounding drums and piano eventually fading into static.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heaven is the Hold Steady 21 April 2010
By 346GNU
Format:MP3 Download
Another slice of Americana, Hold Steady style. After their last effort which, to be brutally frank, was a retrograde step, they push all the right buttons. Craig Finn rasp: check. Chiming guitars: check. Inspirational choruses: ditto. Catch it now - free, in its entirety, on guardian website.
(30/03/2011) God knows how long ago I wrote this review but it still holds up. Still got the link to the guardian webpage for a free listen. Interesting to find out if anyone else followed suit.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars end of the road
i was a big fan of hold steady and Boys and girls is a cracking album full of good tunes. Stay Positive was okay but this is awful. Read more
Published on 7 May 2011 by hickman
2.0 out of 5 stars A change for the worse
Only discovered this band recently after catching one of their songs on the radio and bought 'Stay Positive' on the back of that; it quickly became a regular feature on my CD... Read more
Published on 15 April 2011 by Steve W
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong tunes but weaker words
This album still has better lyrics than pretty much any band out there, but they are much inferior to all previous albums by the Hold Steady. The Snitch is the best thing here. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2011 by Simon Turner
1.0 out of 5 stars lost the plot
I raved about boy's and girls'.their gigs we brilliant.They were Londoncentric and have finally found other bits a the UK exist. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2011 by D. peel
4.0 out of 5 stars Good old fashioned rock
This band first came to my attention on "Later with Jools Holland". They have a style that blends Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger and Sparks which is very different. Read more
Published on 14 July 2010 by Andrew Fell
5.0 out of 5 stars Their most enjoyable yet
Can't stop playing this, all the way through - lightfooted and breezier than their earlier albums, but full of summer-friendly, guitars-a-plenty rock'n'roll. Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2010 by Nick
3.0 out of 5 stars Am I mistaken?
Or has everyone gone mad? The last album by this band was a belter - full of great songs and variety. This has been played twice in a month. Read more
Published on 9 Jun 2010 by robotfish
4.0 out of 5 stars Not their best - But more than good enough
Much preferring The Hold Steady's work with keyboards player Franz Nicolay, I was worried when I heard of his departure that the following album would not be up to scratch... Read more
Published on 9 Jun 2010 by James S. Williams
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm
The last studio outing, Stay Positive, closed with the frustrating Slapped Actress: great opening riff but then... Read more
Published on 14 May 2010 by Unkie Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to basics.
After a somewhat disappointing fourth Lp 'Stay Positive', which had just a bit too much going on at times, The Hold Steady get back to doing what they do best. Read more
Published on 3 May 2010 by Big Twink
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