Yeah I agree Thrashing Thru the Passion is also good, not first three albums good but still good. That said the one before Teeth Dreams was also a bit shit so I would back those two albums being rubbish. All Craig Finn and Hold Steady output since Teeth Dreams has been at least 8/10 though I’d say.
I loved some of the singles that went into Thrashing Thru The Passion, but as an album it never quite came together for me - I understand the reasons for that and am obviously happy that it got them all back in a room together.
This feels like something else, though. I personally have never been as big a fan of Stay Positive as some - it’s just maybe TOO big and ROCK for my tastes - so this album is immediately top 4 Hold Steady for me, and maybe even top 3, after Separation Sunday and Boys and Girls in America. So pleased to say that.
Edit to say: the production REALLY suits them - and I love touches like the WOOOO on Unpleasant Breakfast.
Had semi written these guys off / stopped paying much attention to what they were doing over the last couple of albums but this latest one is great and exactly what I need right now