Posts Tagged ‘The Hold Steady’

A couple of weeks back I came across news of the long-awaited album from Spoon. Four years since the last release and a lot of rumours later, it’s come down to this – a tweet and a sound byte about 30 seconds long that reminds a bit of Pink Floyd, heavily distorted. No other news release – the band hasn’t yet talked about a release date – but I suppose this was enough to send music media into overdrive. Four years of anticipation does set very high expectations. Despite Spoon’s remarkable consistency of quality in the past, I hope the law of averages doesn’t catch up with them.

Another band that has abstained from producing a new album for four years is The Hold Steady. The fast was broken with “Teeth Dreams” coming out in the last week of March. A couple of listens later I’m still trying to come to grips with what has been done to Craig Finn’s distinct voice. I really don’t like the over-produced treatment it’s been given but I suspect I will grow to like the album…sort of.

Despite a reasonable quiet period – by his standards – Jack White has not made us wait quite as long. Two years after the enjoyable “Blunderbuss”, the man will be back with a new one “Lazaretto” on June 10. I just heard the first song from it, the instrumental “High Ball Stepper”, about an hour back. You can easily identify it as a Jack White song but the familiarity does not preclude it from offering a bit more of interest – note the quirky piano work for example. If it’s anything to go by, this should be another album to look forward to.

My expectations of “Turn Blue” by The Black Keys set to release on May 13 is not quite as high after hearing the first song out of it “Fever”. Perhaps I’m forestalling disappointment.


While I was writing the post on Tanita Tikaram (A Long-lost Voice), I started thinking about musicians that had not been heard of for a while – many for the good of the world at large and some, like Ms. Tikaram, that I for one would love to hear more of. And in that respect, my cup of joy has been full to the brim these last few months. Tom Waits came out with new material after about 7 years on ‘Bad As Me’, the striking voice of Sinead O’Connor is heard again on ‘How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?’, The Cranberries re-united after nearly 11 years with ‘Roses’, a much re-formed The Shins (to me it seems that this band’s really only James Mercer with none of the other members from 5 years back on this new album) return after a 5-year break with ‘Port Of Morrow’. (more…)