Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Franz Nicolay - Luck and Courage

Franz came on my radar for the first time through his tenure as keysman for The Hold Steady, although there is a pretty decent chance that I saw him play with World Inferno Friendship Society prior to that. Either way, he was a big part of my love for THS and his absence from the fold has left a pronounced void of ambivalence in its wake for me.

Nicolay is a dyed in the wool American Music Club fan, an endorsement that will do little to diminish most people in my eyes. That vibe permeated his first solo record Major General and is well-imbued in the new Luck and Courage. While Major General was a rawer proposition, Luck and Courage sports a more expansive sound, with swirling strings and a host of female accompanists that prove wonderful foils to the stories Nicolay tenor illuminates. Not the record for your average (especially new school) Hold Steady fan looking to cross over, but a fine record for the average Franz or AMC fan.


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