Albums to watch

Heaven Is Whenever

The Hold Steady

Heaven Is Whenever

The supposedly 'less anthemic' 5th album from the Brooklyn alt.rockers

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UK Release date
  1. 8.0 |   Uncut

    It's the natural, assured way in which Heaven Is Whenever moves between building on past glories and breaking fresh ground that's so impressive
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  2. 8.0 |   NME

    Print edition only

  3. 8.0 |   The Independent

    The departure of keyboardist Franz Nicolay has left welcome spaces in The Hold Steady's sound
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  4. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    This transitional album indicates there is more in their locker
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  5. 8.0 |   music OMH

    Another gem for an amazingly consistent band with plenty of room left to grow
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  6. 8.0 |   The Observer

    This collection is subtly excellent... Singer Craig Finn's lyrics remain a joy
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  7. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Heaven is more musically compact than the band's last album, 2008's Stay Positiv
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  8. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    Maybe they are just getting older, which is fine, as this is a band who has always grasped positive vibes from the move toward greyness. Indeed, that is the very point of this beautifully unglamorous gang of a band
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  9. 8.0 |   Daily Telegraph

    This fifth record is more spirited, translating the departure of their keyboard player into a leaner, hard-riffing sound
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  10. 8.0 |   Rave Magazine

    Living vicariously through the lives of others is rarely this entertaining or satisfying
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  11. 7.2 |   Beats Per Minute

    Great bands always struggle to match their past musical output. Take it for what it is – a guitar-centric party rock record – and it won’t disappoint
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  12. 7.0 |   The Sunday Times

    The Hold Steady are a one-trick pony. But what a trick
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  13. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    There are some missteps on this album, but the last line on the record, which comes at the end of the seven-minute closer, is a perfect sign-off: “This shouldn’t hurt, but you might feel a slight discomfort”
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  14. 7.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    This is no longer an experiment in repurposing some of the most outre moments of pop rock; it’s an institution and each album’s success rests on its songs. Rejoice: Heaven is Whenever delivers
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  15. 7.0 |   Blurt

    Given the band's skill and experience, it's not surprising that most of the album's strongest tracks are riff-rockers. As for the experiments, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't
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  16. 6.5 |   Bowlegs

    Still depicts street level America, and the band still sound like a stadium filling bar-room rock band, whilst the energy and unapologetic attitude is as blatant as ever
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  17. 6.2 |   Pitchfork

    Despite the confidence of that opening track, Heaven Is Whenever sounds like a transitional album, hopefully paving the way for something stronger, more cohesive, more specific.
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  18. 6.0 |   PopMatters

    This album gives us a new energy, one that comes on subtly, that earns its way through, and will last a lot longer than Holly’s high used to
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  19. 6.0 |   Scotland on Sunday

    Finn's voice sounds more flexible than before. Springsteen should seriously consider covering the closing A Slight Discomfort
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  20. 6.0 |   Evening Standard

    At their best — The Weekenders, The Smidge — the Hold Steady have a dynamism, the lack of which leaves much US rock churning in the mire
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  21. 6.0 |   The Times

    The ghostly chorus of Barely Breathing and shimmering riffs of The Weekender are the highlights of an album that tends to slip back into a trademark groove of chugging power-chords
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  22. 6.0 |   The Digital Fix

    Heaven Is Whenever is not a bad album, far from it, there is just an inescapable feeling is that something, or someone is missing
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  23. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    It portrays them as a band at a crossroads: lighters aloft at one fork, at the other a formlessness where frenzied light rock calls the shots
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  24. 6.0 |   Mojo

    A rewarding listen with a definite touch of Groundhog Day about it. Print edition only

  25. 6.0 |   Q

    This is Everyman music with a peacock strut; yet the production gloss is a mixed blessing. Print edition only

  26. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    Lacks a certain je ne sais quoi due to the departure of keyboardist Franz Nicolay, known for his killer ‘tache and deftly blending harpsichord and synth into the meat-and-potato rock
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  27. 6.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    While The Hold Steady haven't made a bad album this time, they haven't made a really good one either. It's a good album with some problems
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  28. 6.0 |   Under The Radar

    Despite the veteran group putting in a valiant effort, Heaven Is Whenever will largely be known as "the transitional LP"
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  29. 6.0 |   Spin

    The Midwest's ambassadors to Brooklyn hone their ballsy bar-band philosophizing with a focus worthy of CSI
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  30. 6.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    They're pretty good and they're heartfelt. But for all their raging guitars, they're exciting only some of the time
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  31. 6.0 |   FasterLouder

    The poetry is still there but the fire and brimstone of the music just does not seem to bring anything flash to the party
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The Hold Steady: Heaven Is Whenever

  • Download full album for just £8.49
  • 1. The Sweet Part of the City £0.89
  • 2. Soft in the Center £0.89
  • 3. The Weekenders £0.89
  • 4. The Smidge £0.89
  • 5. Rock Problems £0.89
  • 6. We Can Get Together £0.89
  • 7. Hurricane J £0.89
  • 8. Barely Breathing £0.89
  • 9. Our Whole Lives £0.89
  • 10. A Slight Discomfort £0.89
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