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9 Reviews
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intoxicated Barnstormer, 25 Jan 2006
This review is from: Separation Sunday (Audio CD)
An album length concept, rambling, slurring soap opera from what sounds like a bar fly who couldn't really give two shit whether he sings in time with his band...infact I think they just try to follow his flights of fancy about drunks and pimps, ressurections and overdoses....like Mark-E-Smith meets Bukowski and Kerouac in an East-side speakeasy.
Huge, raining guitar riffs, a total disregard for chorus timing or structure in general...just banging it out like the E-Street band meets the Stones with a mouthful of cigarette butts and bloodsoaked sawdust. It's freakin' great, and you should make it your next LP purchase.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than....., 23 Jun 2007
This review is from: Separation Sunday (Audio CD)
If you're looking at this becuase you liked Boys and Girls, then you should go ahead and get it. Excellent though Boys and Girls is, I slightly prefer this. The formula is pretty much the same, but Separation Sunday seems to give no ground at all to any thoughts of commercial viability (there's no whoas or funny keyboard figures in the choruses) and I think that improves things, by making the whole a bit purer and more coherent.

On top of that, Cattle and Creeping Things is one of the best things I've heard in ages - musically and lyrically it's spot on, and there's plenty of other great riffs and smarty-pants wordplay on here too.

So if you like your rawk music with a brain on it, do yourself a favour and get this.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars your new favourite band, 6 Sep 2007
This review is from: Separation Sunday (Audio CD)
If you're over 30 buy this cd at your peril. You are in danger of developing the kind of devotion to the hold steady that you first had for bands when you were a teenager. They conjure up a springsteen meets kerouac emotion that captures what's great about rock and roll. Craig Finn is surely the best lyricist around - dense, poetic and evocative. Get this, then buy Boys And Girls In America, then - most importantly - see them live.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Allmusic wrong yet again - Best album of decade?, 17 Mar 2011
By 
This review is from: Separation Sunday (Audio CD)
Here's a sample of the lyrics from this brilliant album:

"i saw him at the riverbank. he was breaking bread and giving thanks. with crosses made of pipes and planks. leaned up against the nitrous tanks.
he said take a hit. hold your breath and i'll dunk your head. then when you wake up again. you'll be high as hell and born again."

Or:

"she's got a cross around her neck that she ripped off from a schoolgirl in the subway on a visit to the city. she likes how it looks on her chest with three open buttons. she likes the part where one brother kills the other."

Or:

"you came into the ER drinking gin from a jam jar. and the nurses making jokes about the ER being like an after-bar. you know you're weak and effite and i'm coming up from the streets. you're up in yr loft getting soft and i'm coming up the stairs and i'm coming from the streets."

Or:

"he's got the pages in his pockets that he ripped out of the bible from his bedstand in the motel. he likes the part where the traders get chased out from the temple. i guess i heard about original sin. i heard the dude blamed the chick. i heard the chick blamed the snake. i heard they were naked when they got busted. i heard things ain't been the same since."

The album Boys and Girls in America is just as good as Separation Sunday, with driving, infectious rock and roll. The Hold Steady and Drive-By Truckers are the great torch bearers of the rock n roll legacy of the decade 2000-2010, and offer the best lyrics of the decade also. See 'The Dirty South' for Drive-By Truckers. Yes again, the Allmusic site gets it wrong, incredibly missing the mark, giving Boya And Girls... and Separation Sunday just 4 out of 5 stars - not even the 4.5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 6 Jun 2010
By 
A. Smith "Irritable of Cheshire" (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Separation Sunday (MP3 Download)
Not sure why these guys don't have a larger following. "Damn right I'll rise again" one of my favourite one-liners from any song. This is a no brainer decision to buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best so far..., 22 Mar 2008
By 
R. Mitchell (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Separation Sunday (Audio CD)
This is an album that has a lot going for it, and is something slightly different that attracts me to it. As an entire album it is sublime, each track leads into another convincingly. Definitely an album and band that is very easy to fall in love with and for me the best of The Hold Steady's 3 albums to be introduced to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great find., 18 July 2013
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This review is from: Separation Sunday (Audio CD)
It's hard to find decent music, it's hardly ever on the radio. So after discovering The Hold Steady through Game of Thrones I had to get some of their albums.

The lyrics are nothing short of incredible and they're even better when they're sung by a drunk sounding Craig Finn howling out tales of sex, drugs and religion with rage.
Craig Finn is a great frontman sort of a nerdy rock God, similar to Ben Folds with his geeky glasses speaking of Ben Folds, the keyboard player Franz is absolutely incredible smashing away on the keyboard making funky sounds that you would expect on a Jerry Lee Lewis or Ben Folds record.
They don't just rock out as shown by the bluesy 'Don't let me explode' and the soulful 'Crucifixion Cruise'.

In short: The lyrics are genius, the music is pure rock, the singing is grimy and gritty (and just perfect).
If you not sure about buying the album listen to Your Little Hoodrat Friend or Cattle and the Creeping things that should convince you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I Love The Hold Steady, 30 July 2009
By 
M. Henderson "Blindjohnlemon" (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Separation Sunday (Audio CD)
I thought it only fair to include that in the title, as it will qualify what I say. I love the Hold Steady. I want to be their brother or at least a very close cousin. I think you get the picture. I would encourage anyone who enjoys Quality Social Commentary (which is effectively what they do, backed by great guitar and piano based rock which is why they get linked to Springsteen, which they are nothing like really since the Boss sings about driving modded motors and being an unemployed autoworker and Craig (no I'm not on first name terms yet) sings about teenage love in a time of limited attention spans) to buy the whole catalogue.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just take it for what it is..., 9 Sep 2007
By 
D. L. Pestell "dp" (Alnwick, UK/Toulouse, FR) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Separation Sunday (Audio CD)
Most of the people reading this would probably be able to sing (?) just as good, if not better than the vocalist, but I think that's what I like about it. The music (especially the guitars and keyboards) draws you away from the vocals without distracting from the actual content being sung. I think it all comes together really well.

Been listening to it for a couple of weeks and different songs catch you at different moments/moods. Reminds me of a modern Husker Du, which is no bad thing.

My fav tracks are: 5. CIS, 4. BC, 3. YLHR and 11. HARRF

dp

Official Review Disclaimer:
Only the first musicians were "unique", everyone after will always be "influenced". If you like something, well that's great, if you don't, well fair enough, everyone is different.
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Separation Sunday
Separation Sunday by The Hold Steady (Audio CD - 2007)
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