Separation Sunday - The Hold Steady

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. It's a triumph of non-judgmental storytelling, delivered within purgative rock'n'roll.
  2. 100
    "Separation Sunday" is not only these Brooklyn transplants' best work to date (far surpassing the critically mis-hyped debut from last year), it is one of the grittiest, realest New York rock albums to come out since the Trouser Press folded.
  3. 100
    Separation Sunday stands a chance of being one of 2005's true classics.
  4. This literature with power chords addresses not only the crucial matter of vanishing bohemias as cultural myth but also the crucial matter of re-emerging spiritualities as cultural fact.
  5. Finn's masterful lyrics can't be ignored. And the music, stopping, starting and crashing with wrenching enthusiasm, is equally undeniable. But the way Finn understands the human condition in all its glory and contradiction is, simply, brilliant.
  6. It is Finn's particular gift to be able to set the listener smack in the middle of his songs, seeing what he sees, caring about the lives he chronicles. It is the listener's reward to find these stories scored by big, fat monster hooks, and effortless piano-driven melodies.
  7. This isn’t just Almost Killed Me 2, it’s an exploration of what lies beyond that initial surface – and the truth ain’t pretty.
  8. This stuff would sound great behind just about any garage-rock hack, but it turns Finn's dirtbag chronicles into something epic and huge and molten and beautiful.
  9. Bar rock for the smart set. [3 Jun 2005, p.82]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. ThomasD
    Feb 20, 2007
    When approaching the Hold Stead (and any band for that matter), thinking in genres won't help you at all. This album is like nothing I have ever heard. Finn's sincerity is refreshing and sharp. His unironic but unpreaching approach to spirituality is very refreshing. Musically, the band is amazing. Personally, this album has had more impact on me than any before it, and I hope other people see the same amazing piece of magic in it that I do. Full Review »
  2. MilesW
    Oct 3, 2006
    I don't get it. What is it supposed to be? They are like a Pop hardcore (whatever!) band, but with cheesy metal guitars. As for the lyrics; are they a god squad band? Straight edge? or are they a party band? Is he being ironic? I can't tell. It's just bad pub-rock, and that can never be good. I can't imagine anyone who likes punk or hardcore, or even metal for that matter, liking this band. Perhaps it's for pop fans who think they are getting into hardcore. Full Review »
  3. ChaseH
    Aug 19, 2006
    A fantastically unique epic.