Create account Log in

Boys and Girls In America

[Edit]

Download links and information about Boys and Girls In America by The Hold Steady. This album was released in 2006 and it belongs to Rock, Hard Rock, Indie Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative genres. It contains 13 tracks with total duration of 47:00 minutes.

Artist: The Hold Steady
Release date: 2006
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Indie Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative
Tracks: 13
Duration: 47:00
Buy on iTunes $9.99
Buy on Amazon $7.99
Buy on Amazon $9.49
Buy on iTunes $14.99
Buy on Music Bazaar €2.71

Tracks

[Edit]
No. Title Length
1. Stuck Between Stations 4:10
2. Chips Ahoy 3:09
3. Hot Soft Light 3:53
4. Same Kooks 2:47
5. First Night 4:54
6. Party Pit 3:56
7. You Can Make Him Like You 2:48
8. Massive Nights 2:54
9. Citrus 2:44
10. Chill Out Tent 3:42
11. South Town Girls 5:10
12. Girls Like Status 3:05
13. Arms and Hearts 3:48

Details

[Edit]

"There are nights when I think Sal Paradise was right/'Boys and Girls in America have such a sad time together....'" These are the opening words to "Stuck Between Stations," the first cut from Boys and Girls in America, the Hold Steady's third full-length. Before these, however, are piano lines and glockenspiel sounds that could have come from Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run album and guitar lines that could have been spit out of an AC/DC song. Sal Paradise, Kerouac's big character, is not the only mythical presence on this meditation of darkly romanticized youth. The late poet (and suicide) John Berryman and one of his monolithic works Dream Songs is in here too: "...I surround myself with doctors and deep thinkers/but big heads with soft bodies make for lousy lovers..." Ain't that the truth. (He should have talked to Chuck Berry instead.) In the meantime, Craig Finn's spilling out an encounter and meditation, and the first person part of his narrative reveals "a damn good kisser and she wasn't that strict of a Christian/She was a real good dancer but she wasn't much of a girlfriend." This is the set up for the slickest, catchiest, and most focused collection of songs by Finn and his rocking Brooklyn quintet. The guy's not just a storyteller, he's a rock historian, a fan boy gone wild, telling stories of everything he says; he's not speaking for anybody but himself, and as a result his appeal is wide. When the band turn Thin Lizzy's "Boys Are Back in Town" inside-out riff-wise on "Hot Soft Light," Finn tries to sound like Phil Lynott, because he's offering a tale of mall rats, suburban kids, drinking, and drug taking — in essence, addiction—from the inside, not as an observer. It's personal revelation disguised as a pumped-up rock anthem. Try "Chips Ahoy," even more of a fist raiser, with a Hammond B-3 under that wall of guitars and rolling bassline. It's got a whoah-oh-oh oh- ohoho . . chorus from the boys in the band and Finn's talking about the race track, specifically about a girl who bets $900.00 on a horse and has problems enjoying the compulsive sex she engages in. His frustration expels itself as a question both teens and young men have been trying to ask forever, but have been afraid to articulate, or it never occurred to them that they could ask: "How am I supposed to know that you're high if you won't let me touch you?/How am I supposed to know if you won't even dance?" Those looking for Separation Sunday "part two" may be disappointed by the huge sound this record has (the band's moved to Vagrant); it's not much of a concept record, and it's not as Catholic, but all those struggles are in here just beneath the surface (and sometimes on top of it). One of the ballads here, "First Night," begins with a piano and an acoustic guitar lilting a rather loose melody that gives Finn the support he needs to get out of his pent-up, novelistic, wordsmithing mouth: "Charlemagne shakes in the street/Gideon makes love to the suites/Holly's not invincible/in fact she's in the hospital/not far from the bar where we met/on that first night." All of these characters are young, desperate, and fleeing from their inner fear, except for Holly who is wise enough to tell the protagonist that "words alone never could save us"....and then "cried when she told us about Jesus." The piano fills out that unfillable hole in Holly and the rest, no matter where they run. Finn can do nothing but repeat his lines and find a last verse somewhere to let the song just fade into silence because it never really ends. Boys and Girls in America is a sophisticated shambles. There's still a barely-on-the-rail feel, despite the literate compositions. Finn's always either behind or ahead of the beat, but it's alright, his bandmates can more than handle that because they're as engaged as he is. There are a few guests, and even a horn section on one track, and the classic girl group chorus call and response from Dana Kletter and her gorgeous voice. There's real sadness in the Wall of Sound and chanted chorus in "You Can Make Him Like You," which examines everything from addiction to betrayal, to the insecurity in love that can push someone over the edge, never to return. Thin Lizzy makes a return on "Massive Nights," complete with roiling bass as Finn opens the whole escapist mix, swinging and setting up a hedonist's dream: "The guys were feeling good about their liquor run..." There are low expectations and drama where only the music counts. The tune turns back on itself when the singer is trying to convince himself and the huge wailing responsorial chorus that something so utterly suburban could be cool, until "She had the gun in her mouth/She was shooting up at her dreams/When the chaperone said that/We'd been crowned/the king and the queen." And it just ends. The chorus doesn't repeat. Elizabeth Elmore's and Dave Pirner's character triplet vocals on "Chillout Tent" help to create a sprawling narrative. Finn's the narrator, the other two are such broken and wasted — even OD'ed — people; they kiss urgently, which is alternately "sexy...but kinda creepy." The song doesn't really work, but it's brave as hell as an experiment. The reason this record is worth embracing and even celebrating is because it's an honest to God rock & roll album. It exposes in the first and third person what it means to grow up right now in the midst of suburban waste. It's angsty, but Finn's got a sense of humor and the band can play their asses off. That they so readily embrace rock history as a means of unfolding Finn's stories suggests that "cool" and "indie" are simply terms in the larger dialogue. This is a smoking little record. Its focus is small, its reach is large; it's a winner. [The Australian edition included bonus tracks.]