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Franz Nicolay: Major General

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Franz Nicolay: <em>Major General</em>

FRANZ NICOLAYHold Steady keyboardist's solo album tears the curtain too far
Franz Nicolay's tenure as the Hold Steady's keyboardist provides a large, pre-built audience for his first solo album, Major General. However, dubbing the album a Hold Steady side project ignores his overflowing work with many other acts (World/Inferno Friendship Society, Anti-Social Music, Guignol, among others). Unsurprisingly, the sonic mix of Major Generaltake on Bruce Springsteen.
Lyrically, Major Generallike the Mountain Goats best material. Elsewhere, Major General's arrangements are ragged, or worse, distracting. "I want you to understand why I do the things I do / cause up here in these hot lights is just between us two," he sings in the final lines of the poetic "Confessions Of An Ineffective Casanova." A nice sentiment, but for a flotsam of guitar searching for a hook and coming up empty, it's a chore to stick around until then.
Listen to Franz Nicolay on MySpace.

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