CD REVIEW: The Hold Steady "Heaven Is Whenever"

After their fourth album took the world by storm, containing some of The Hold Steady's best songs, they are back with a new album that is almost as good as their last. It's a great album, containing tracks that, for the avid Hold Steady fan, are a welcome addition to the catalogue. The album doesn't contain that hit single, the song that will define the album. However, the album is defined by the ups and downs, the lyrical content, and the delivery of the songs. It is, by far, The Hold Steady's most creative album yet. "Rock Problems" is a classic. Songs such as "The Weekenders" and "Hurricane J" remind us that the essence of their music is truly in the lyrical storytelling. They continue to sound like the indie rock version of Bruce Springsteen, and have an incredible connection to the lives and times that have turned into their music. The beautiful album comes to a subtle close with the sounds of crickets chirping, recorded accidentally as some of the music was recorded outside. You can always expect greatness from The Hold Steady. Lately they do not disappoint, and their fifth album is a testament to their hard work, excellent lyricism, and incredible musical talents.