Album Review: “Teeth Dreams” by The Hold Steady

Reviews: “Teeth Dreams” by The Hold Steady

the-hold-steady-teeth-dreams1The Hold Steady’s newest album, “Teeth Dreams,” comes after a four-year hiatus, during which time many changes took place within the band: Some band members came and went, and others stepped out of their comfort zones, whether they released solo albums or tried to stay sober. Their last album, “Heaven is Whenever,” first saw them branching out, as they attempted a mellower sound while also trying to combine their unusually literate rock and roll — best suited for seedy bars — with arena rock. While it gave the band the chance to experiment with slide guitars and more atmospheric production, it was ultimately inconsistent in bringing their ambition to fruition. “Teeth Dreams” not only does a better job of bringing those ideas to the table, but is also a stronger, more confident album on the whole. Newly bolstered by the addition of guitarist Steve Selvidge, the band’s music is meatier than ever before, as Selvidge and guitarist Tad Kubler build off of each other’s playing styles, both playing delicately and powerfully with ease. Craig Finn’s songwriting also helps the band’s music retain its authenticity. Now his lyrics are focused on addressing listeners directly instead of solely telling stories to them, drawing listeners in with his usual eloquent-yet-gritty stories of parties and people gone wrong. But he also gives listeners a helping hand, reminding them that even though “Heartbreak hurts…you can dance it off.” 8/10

Click here to hear their new song “The Only Thing.”

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