The Hold Steady has always possessed a knack for combining gritty imagery with relentless determination. Known for their self-referential songwriting, themes from the band’s entire canon emerge in this one single tune. In fact, a seasoned Hold Steady listener (there's a devoted fan base dubbed the Unified Scene) will recognize many of lead singer Craig Finn’s callbacks to earlier songs: Massive Nights, Positive Jam, and How a Resurrection Really Feels.
But at its core, this song is a love letter to fans, with Finn sincerely concluding, “We couldn't have done this if it wasn't for you.”
Although each self-reference may not entirely resonate with new listeners, it is the inspiring chorus that preaches a universal message. And with a song title after my own heart, Craig Finn truly delivers the song's mantra by chanting, “We gotta stay positive.”
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh!
Some thoughts on art, life, and theatre. Stay positive.