Home Read Albums Of The Week: The Hold Steady | The Price Of Progress

Albums Of The Week: The Hold Steady | The Price Of Progress

Craig Finn and his Brooklyn bandmates keep rock (and hope) alive — while continuing to nudge their muscular sound in more mature directions — on their superb ninth LP.

USA. Camden, NJ. 2019. Broadway Trust Company Building.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Formed in 2003, The Hold Steady have released eight albums, numerous singles and played over 1000 shows. The Price Of Progress is the ninth studio album from the band, released on the band’s Positive Jams label.

The Price Of Progress arrives as The Hold Steady mark the 20th anniversary of their foundation bringing new ideas, sounds, and textures to a still-evolving canon of studio album releases that began with 2004’s Almost Killed Me. The album was produced by longtime collaborator Josh Kaufman at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, N.Y., and mixed by D. James Goodwin. The Price Of Progress stands as their most sonically expansive record thus far, while also remaining unmistakably The Hold Steady, showcasing narrative rock ’n’ roll tales of ordinary people struggling and surviving in a modern world. The front and back of the album cover feature photographs by renowned Minneapolis based photographer Alec Soth.

“These are some of the most cinematic songs in The Hold Steady catalog,” says singer-guitarist Craig Finn, “and the record was a joy to make. I feel like we went somewhere we haven’t before, which is a very exciting thing for a band that is two decades into our career.”

The Brooklyn-based bandmates have performed in all 50 states in the U.S. and throughout Canada, Europe and Australia. Their music has appeared across movies, advertising and TV shows including Game Of Thrones and Billions, and they have contributed original material to Seth Meyers’ cartoon The Awesomes and his 2019 standup comedy special Lobby Baby. Released in early 2021, The Hold Steady’s previous record Open Door Policy achieved the band’s highest chart position of any album, debuting at No. 6 on the Billboard Current Album Chart. Critics gushed that the record “expands their horizons,” and “gives The Hold Steady new heft and variety without undercutting the sharpness of the hooks or singer-guitarist Finn’s heart-wrenching novelistic lyricism.”