The Hold Steady ¦ Open Door Policy

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Open Door Policy
The Hold Steady - Open Door Policy.png
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 19, 2021 (2021-02-19)
RecordedDecember 2019
LabelPositive Jams
ProducerJosh Kaufman
The Hold Steady chronology
Thrashing Thru the Passion
Open Door Policy
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
American Songwriter4/5 stars[5]
Beats Per Minute76%[6]
DIY3.5/5 stars[8]
MusicOMH4/5 stars[10]

Open Door Policy is the eighth studio album by American band The Hold Steady. It was released on February 19, 2021, through the band's own label Positive Jams.[13] The album debuted at number 48 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums.[14]


The album was recorded in December 2019 at the Clubhouse Studio and The Isokon Studio in New York, with producer Josh Kaufman.[15][16][17] Lead vocalist Craig Finn said in a press release:

"Open Door Policy was very much approached as an album vs. a collection of individual songs, and it feels like our most musically expansive record. This album was written and almost entirely recorded before the pandemic started, but the songs and stories explore power, wealth, mental health, technology, capitalism, consumerism, and survival – issues which have compounded in 2020."[18]

Musicians Stuart Bogie, Jordan McLean, Cassandra Jenkins, Annie Nero and Matt Barrick appear on the album.[19]


The band performed "Family Farm" on Late Night with Seth Meyers on February 23, 2020.[20][21]


On December 1, 2020, the Hold Steady announced they were releasing their eighth studio album.[15]


The first single, "Family Farm" was released on December 1, 2020, the same day as the band announced the release of the album.[15]

On January 8, 2021, the Hold Steady release the second single "Heavy Covenant".[22] The band explained the single "is a song about travel, technology, and human connection. The song came out of two different music pieces that THS piano/keyboardist Franz Nicolay brought in, and with the help of producer Josh Kaufman, we combined them. It came together quickly, and when our friends Stuart and Jordan came in and added the horns to the chorus it really seemed to bring it together. To us, this song is a great indication of where the band’s sound is at in 2021."[23][17]

Critical reception

Open Door Policy was met with "generally favorable" reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, this release received an average score of 78 based on 20 reviews.[3] AnyDecentMusic? gave the release a 7.6 out of 10 based on a critical consensus of 20 reviews.[2]

In a review for Pitchfork, Daniel Felsenthal wrote: "Their rejuvenated second act continues with Open Door Policy, an ornate record that incorporates Nicolay’s ambitious compositions as an integral part of the band’s songwriting. Passion had them recognizing, to quote a lyric, 'It doesn’t have to be perfect/Just sort of has to be worth it.' On Open Door Policy, they reach for something larger: if not perfection, then music with a baroqueness we haven’t quite heard from them before....Big moments appear in surprising places on Open Door Policy." In a review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote: "Written and recorded as a cohesive album, Open Door Policy feels like the Cinemascope cousin to Thrashing Thru the Passion: the Hold Steady take full advantage of their larger canvass. Finn's words deserve concentration, but the key to Open Door Policy is how it plays as an operatic rock & roll record, where the emphasis lies more on the melodrama than the grit. Perhaps this slowing pace is the inevitable side effect of middle age."[4] Lee Zimmerman of American Songwriter wrote: "Expressed from a first person point of view, the music comes across with a sense of unease, urgency and uncertainty, which, in turn, boosts both interest and intrigue. Clearly, The Hold Steady are intent on burrowing below the surface in their pursuit of principle and propriety."[5] Tim Sentz of Beats Per Minute praised lead vocalist Craig Finn's vocals, noting: "Finn’s vocals are less nasally slurred, and lyrically he’s telling a slightly grander story instead of just writing individual songs."[6] Jamie Wilde of Clash explained: "The album’s upbeat energy is feverish. It allows space for comical and witty intervention among its deeper subjects. This record exposes a band who, after almost two decades in the game, are still enjoying what they’re doing and their close-knit chemistry befits their band name. Finn's lyrical observations once more take centre stage in Open Door Policy. Producer Josh Kauffman's vocal mix is throat grabbing as Finn’s Beat style delivery flows like Kerouac or Ginsberg."[7]

Writing for Exclaim!, Oliver Crook gave the album an eight out of 10, explaining "Open Door Policy carries all the trademarks of a Hold Steady record: Craig Finn's distinctive vocals are supported by an effortlessly distorted sound that is equally as complex. Finn's lyrics are scattered with shady characters and messed-up souls, but there's more of an edge on Open Door Policy. Recorded in 2019, its themes of mental health, income inequality and isolation feels all the more relevant today."[9]

Track listing

Open Door Policy track listing
1."The Feelers"4:45
  • Finn
  • Kubler
4."Family Farm"
  • Finn
  • Nicolay
  • Kubler
5."Unpleasant Breakfast"
  • Finn
  • Kubler
6."Heavy Covenant"
  • Finn
  • Nicolay
7."The Prior Procedure"3:38
  • Finn
  • Selvidge
  • Kubler
9."Me & Magdalena"
  • Finn
  • Nicolay
10."Hanover Camera"
  • Finn
  • Nicolay
11."Parade Days" (Bonus track)
  • Finn
  • Selvidge


Chart performance for Open Door Policy
Chart (2021)Peak
Scottish Albums (OCC)[24]9
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[25]7
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[14]48
US Top Album Sales (Billboard)[26]6
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[27]5


  1. ^ a b Felsenthal, Daniel (February 23, 2021). "Pitchfork Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "AnyDecentMusic? Review". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Metacritic Review". Metacritic. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "AllMusic Review". AllMusic. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Zimmerman, Lee (February 12, 2021). "The Hold Steady's New Album Offers a Steady Push Forward". American Songwriter. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Sentz, Tim (February 22, 2021). "Beats Per Minute Review". Beats Per Minute. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Wilde, Jamie (February 19, 2021). "Clash Magazine Review". Clash. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  8. ^ Goggins, Joe. "DIY Magazine Review". DIY. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Crook, Oliver (February 16, 2021). "The Hold Steady Make Room to Experiment on 'Open Door Policy'". Exclaim!. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  10. ^ Murphy, John (February 17, 2021). "MusicOMH Review". MusicOMH. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  11. ^ Danton, Eric (February 18, 2021). "The Hold Steady Play to Their Strengths on Open Door Policy". Paste. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  12. ^ Kearney, Kevin (February 18, 2021). "PopMatters review". PopMatters. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  13. ^ Yeske Taylor, Katherine (February 22, 2021). "The Hold Steady Tap Into Emotions with 'Open Door Policy'". American Songwriter. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  14. ^ a b "The Hold Steady Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  15. ^ a b c "The Hold Steady Announce New Album". DIY. December 1, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  16. ^ "The Hold Steady - Bandcamp". Bandcamp. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  17. ^ a b Martoccio, Angie (January 11, 2021). "The Hold Steady Drop Fiery 'Heavy Covenant'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  18. ^ Neale, Matthew (January 10, 2021). "The Hold Steady share new track 'Heavy Covenant'". NME. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  19. ^ Skinner, Tom (December 1, 2020). "The Hold Steady announce new album 'Open Door Policy' and share first track 'Family Farm'". NME. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  20. ^ Blistein, Jon (February 23, 2021). "The Hold Steady Barrel Through 'Family Farm' on 'Seth Meyers'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  21. ^ "The Hold Steady: Family Farm". YouTube. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  22. ^ Hughes, Kosiah (January 8, 2021). "The Hold Steady Share New Track "Heavy Covenant"". Exclaim!. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  23. ^ H, Rob (January 8, 2021). "The Hold Steady Deliver a Shining Chronicle of Human Connection in "Heavy Covenant"". Beats Per Minute. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  24. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  25. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  26. ^ "The Hold Steady Chart History (Top Album Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  27. ^ "The Hold Steady Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021.

External links


Veröffentlichungen von The Hold Steady die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Open Door Policy

The Hold Steady auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady in New York City 2008
The Hold Steady in New York City 2008
Allgemeine Informationen
Aktuelle Besetzung
Craig Finn
Tad Kubler
Galen Polivka
Bobby Drake (seit 2005)
Ehemalige Mitglieder
Franz Nicolay (2005–2010)
Judd Counsell (bis 2005)

The Hold Steady ist eine US-amerikanische Indie-Rockband aus New York.


Nachdem sich seine Band Lifter Puller 2000 in Minneapolis aufgelöst hatte, zog es den Sänger und Gitarristen Craig Finn nach New York, wo er zwei Jahre später zusammen mit Ex-Bandkollege Tad Kubler sowie Schlagzeuger Judd Counsell und Bassist Galen Polivka, alles erfahrene Musiker in den Mittdreißigern, The Hold Steady gründete. Ein Jahr später erschien ihr Debütalbum Almost Killed Me. Das Album wurde von den Kritikern positiv aufgenommen, war aber kein großer kommerzieller Erfolg. Dasselbe galt auch für Album Nummer zwei Separation Sunday.

Es folgten einige Umbesetzungen, nach denen schließlich Bobby Drake den Posten des Schlagzeugers übernahm und Franz Nicolay als Keyboarder dazukam. Außerdem wechselte die Band das Label und unterschrieb bei Vagrant Records. Ihr drittes Album in drei Jahren, Boys and Girls in America, brachte dann erste vorzeigbare Erfolge. Es war ein Top-5-Hit in den Heatseekers-Charts und konnte sich sogar zwei Wochen in den offiziellen Billboard-200-Albumcharts der USA platzieren.

Mit dem Album Stay Positive unternahm The Hold Steady dann den Schritt nach Europa. Es erschien am 14. bzw. 15. Juli 2008 in Großbritannien und den USA, und während es in ihrer Heimat ähnlich erfolgreich wie der Vorgänger war, konnten sie in den UK-Charts auf Anhieb auf Platz 15 einsteigen.

Am 23. Januar 2010 gab die Band auf ihrer Homepage bekannt, dass ihr Keyboarder Franz Nicolay die Band verlassen hat.


Erklärung der Daten
Boys and Girls in America
 UK8403.02.2007(1 Wo.)
 US12421.10.2006(2 Wo.)
Stay Positive
 UK1526.07.2008(3 Wo.)
 US3005.07.2008(6 Wo.)
A Positive Rage
 US14025.04.2009(1 Wo.)
Heaven Is Whenever
 UK4515.05.2010(1 Wo.)
 US2622.05.2010(3 Wo.)
Teeth Dreams
 UK5005.04.2014(1 Wo.)
 US2812.04.2014(2 Wo.)


  • Almost Killed Me (2004)
  • Separation Sunday (2005)
  • Boys and Girls in America (2006)
  • Stay Positive (2008)
  • A Positive Rage (2009)
  • Heaven Is Whenever (2010)
  • Teeth Dreams (2014)
  • Thrashing Thru the Passion (2019)


  • The Virgin Digital Sessions (2005)
  • Live at Lollapalooza 2006: The Hold Steady (2006)
  • Stuck Between Stations (2007)
  • Live at Fingerprints (2007)


  • Milkcrate Mosh / Hey Hey What Can I Do (2004)
  • Chips Ahoy (2006)
  • Stuck Between Stations (2006)
  • Sequestered In Memphis (2008)
  • Stay Positive (2009)
  • Hurricane J (2010)


  • Für die 3. Staffel der Fernsehserie Game of Thrones nahm die Band 2013 eine Version des Lieds The Bear and the Maiden Fair[2] auf.[3]


  1. Chartquellen: UK US1 US2
  2. Aufnahme bei
  3. James Hibberd: 'Game of Thrones' and the Hold Steady team for season 3 song. In:, 5. März 2013. Abgerufen im 16. April 2013. 



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The Hold Steady ¦ Open Door Policy
CHF 36.00 inkl. MwSt