Franz Nicolay Major General

Franz Nicolay Major General
It might not have been a calculated move but Franz Nicolay picked a great time to release his solo debut. After all, the Hold Steady, which he plays keyboards for, go from strength to strength, and so he should ride those coattails while he can. But even without that connection there's a good chance that Major General would get noticed. The album manages to avoid the obvious pitfall of sounding just like the Hold Steady, for the most part, but there's no denying that Nicolay hasn't strayed too far from the familiar roads he knows so well. But it's on the slower songs that Nicolay comes into his own, like the world weary "World/Inferno vs. The End Of The Evening," painting on a broader canvas than anyone might have expected. While Major General is a solid record, it isn't one that suggests that Nicolay should be quitting his day job. But he should keep going with this little sideline because as a hobby, he's done a very impressive job. (Fistolo)