It all starts with a guitar riff then 80s styled synths pop into the mix on “Grand Junction”. A song about a couple driving out west where the girl is scared then amazed by the size of the sky. Singer Craig Finn tackles other relationships on The Hold Steady’s ninth studio album, The Price of Progress. “Perdido” captures a break up while on vacations. “Says she’s got a couple lovers, yeah, you’re not the only one/You’re just the only one that wants to spend the week with me.”
The boys are having a crisis after softball on “Carlos is Crying” where Carlos has not told his girlfriend he has not worked in weeks. “Flyover Halftime” has a significant pregaming session before one of the boys runs on the field. At times, the stories and songs are not that significant, “City at Eleven” doesn’t leave much of an impression. But on The Price of Progress, the band cranks out several middle aged delights that a lot of us can relate to.