The Hold Steady is not only one of the most critically acclaimed bands in the United States (their past three albums have landed on year-end best-of lists for three years running, including their latest, Boys and Girls in America), but they're also one of the best rock 'n' roll bands in the U.S. that the average music fan hasn't heard of. That may be because the Brooklyn-based band is made up of five thirtysomething, relatively unattractive dudes, and fronted by a guy who can't really sing. It may also have something to do with the fact that most people, despite what they want to believe about themselves, don't appreciate well-crafted, fun lyrics that talk ironically about faith, drug abuse, and personal redemption as opposed to girlfriends in the next room that sometimes you wish were your ex who, come on, you clearly still got it bad for. No, the Hold Steady's biggest fault is that they're too damn good for the masses and, thus, will probably languish in much-celebrated obscurity for many albums to come.
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