Albums to watch

Thrashing Thru The Passion

The Hold Steady

Thrashing Thru The Passion

Album number seven, and first in five years, from the Brooklyn-based indie rock five-piece led by raconteur Craig Finn

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  1. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Sometimes an album is so good it makes you want to cry. This is one such occasion
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  2. 8.9 |   Paste Magazine

    Thrashing Thru The Passion is musically looser than previous offerings—fewer ballads, the big rock numbers less lush and more compact—but it also makes it accessible to new listeners, who can then work their way back through albums like Heaven is Whenever or Separation Sunday
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  3. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    “Denver Haircut” features another potentially meta observation: “It doesn’t have to be pure. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just sort of has to be worth it.” No Finn-ish qualifiers needed here. It’s worth it
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  4. 8.0 |   All Music

    Feels mature but not stuffy or settled; it's the sound of a group that cherishes their own peculiar chemistry and choose to bask within the righteous noise they make
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  5. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    The band’s tightest and most fun album since 2008
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  6. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Craig Finn’s barstool-rock raconteurs paint a portrait of booze-soaked Americana with their most enthralling record in years
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  7. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    The classic rock-inspired Hold Steady sound revitalized on their latest, Thrashing Thru the Passion, with keyboardist Franz Nicolay back and a horn section in tow
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  8. 8.0 |   Uncut

    It might not be the best Hold Steady Album, but it might be their most purely enjoyable. Print edition only

  9. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Is this record a return to their early greatness? Let's maybe leave that for the legion of dedicated disciples to argue about, but at the very least it's bound to hit all the familiar pleasure centres of Hold Steady fans
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  10. 8.0 |   NME

    The band's spent over a decade-and-a-half sharing their stories about those in and out of love, the broken and the bruised. It's business as usual, and business is good
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  11. 8.0 |   Pitchfork

    The Brooklyn indie rock institution’s seventh album is as joyous and rousing as their best efforts
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  12. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    The stories, the addled street preacher, the joie de vivre, they’re more potent than for a long time. The playing is better too. And yes, Finn is a singer now but he’s still instinctive enough to pile into his good old declamatory mosh. For stretches, this truly feels like bopping to the classics
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  13. 8.0 |   American Songwriter

    The total effect of Thrashing Thru The Passion is that of The Hold Steady at their most casual and confident, tossing off these songs that would be tour de forces for anyone else as if they have a bushelful of them just hanging around the studio
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  14. 7.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Thrashing is the work of a band artfully redefining what they want to be after 15 years together
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  15. 7.0 |   music OMH

    It may not be there with their best work, and it might be seen by some as a bit of a stopgap, but there are still times on Thrashing Thru The Passion that The Hold Steady can effortlessly remind us that they remain the ‘best bar band in the world’
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  16. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    The band’s their first album in five years is a return to form after a couple overly serious LPs
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  17. 7.0 |   Slant Magazine

    While the album may lack instant anthems, it’s still a highly consistent and satisfying rock album
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  18. 6.5 |   Under The Radar

    It's a good, solid rock record — but whether that's a good thing or not may depend on whether you think a band that were once touted as the next Replacements are built to stake their claim as a heritage act or should have called time a decade ago. We're firmly in the former camp
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  19. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    The Hold Steady's seventh album collects five new songs recorded this year alongside five digitally-released singles the band put out sporadically between 2017 and 2019
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  20. 6.0 |   Mojo

    A stopgap isn't quite what The Hold Steady need right now, but as a holding exercise it's hard to fault. Print edition only

  21. 6.0 |   DIY

    Seven albums in, The Hold Steady are very much a band for their existing fans
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  22. 6.0 |   Punk News

    As much as I wanted to love this album, it simply falls flat for me
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  23. 5.0 |   No Ripcord

    Some good ol', serviceable rock ' roll always goes down easy, but with The Hold Steady, we know they're capable of so much more
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  24. 4.0 |   Q

    Falls well short of greatness, reheating past ideas to the point of cliche. Print edition only

  25. 4.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    It’s largely disappointing, although lyrically solid, as Craig Finn’s charismatic vocals pair perfectly with his rambling, narrated lyrics. But you were probably expecting that
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