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Hold Out

46 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1980
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002GX2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,397 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on July 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Jackson Browne's "Hold Out" is not a terrible album. Unfortunately, it gets compared to his 1970s masterpieces like "For Everyman," "Late for the Sky" and "Running on Empty," next to which it does, indeed, pale by comparison. That said, there are some good songs here, particularly "That Girl Could Sing" and "Boulevard." The eight minute cut "Hold On Hold Out" that ends the record is also strong. The rest, including the dated "Disco Apocalypse," are decent filler material, though at 7 songs and a just over a half hour running time, the whole project feels slight compared to Browne's best work.
Overall, I would recommend "Hold Out" for ardent Browne fans and direct causal listeners to his earlier 1970s triumphs instead.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on July 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If it is as true, as is often said, that great artists find their inspiration in life's trials and tribulations, then that sure helps explain the consistent artistic focus on love and relationships for singer and songwriter Jackson Browne for a twenty year plus period stretching from the late 1960s well into the 1990s. This effort to describe his frustration with the contemporary dating scene in the early 1980s painfully reflects his angst and inchoate feelings in attempting to reach out to touch his lover both emotionally and intellectually. Describing himself as a "holdout", meaning someone who refuses to "settle" for someone not meeting what they believe are the essential qualities for a love interest, he then details the consequent comedy of pain and suffering that ensues as he waits for the perfect person, who of course, he realizes may not actually exist.
As usual, Browne's fervently fertile mind dwells on the interior landscape of his own wounded psyche, and he uses his own palpable heartache to deliver a song cycle overflowing with blue-eyed California soul. The result is an album dripping with feeling, and yet one also characterized with an exciting level of exuberant electrical music. His lyrics are telling, as when he admits his own foolishness in allowing his preconceptions to rule his heart. Yet in the face of all this intellectual preciousness is some honest angst and pain, and one can hardly listen to songs like "Call It A Loan' to understand the powerful consequences of emotional miscues and misunderstandings two people trying to connect can fall prey to. So, too, in "Hold On, Hold Out", you find yourself rooting for a guy who finds he has to resort to actually telling his love interest how he feels about her.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Anthony G Pizza VINE VOICE on April 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
These words, spoken from choked breath to climax "Hold On Hold Out," seemed strangely satisfying, if plain, from Jackson Browne. His album-long searches for self within personal and social tragedy epitomised the Californicated musical center of the "Me Decade." In 1980's "Hold Out," whose dedication read "This is for Lynne" (Sweeney, Browne's love interest at the time), it was a moment of shared, truthful joy in a career filled with some of rock's most confrontational, confessional elegies.
"Hold Out" is unjustly criticized among Browne fans despite being his lone #1 album. Its seven soaring, expansive tracks celebrate resilience and reassurance, rocking as hard as anything Browne did up to then.
"Oh can we say that I've grown/in some way that we may have yet to be shown?" asks Browne in "Call It A Loan." You hear new, empathetic sensibility prefacing his explicit 80s protest music. This tranisition led critic Dave Marsh to refer to Browne having "Bob Dylan's career inside out."
Browne commits small details to memory here, making peace even at "Hold Out"'s most wistful. He concedes that "she couldn't have been any kinder/if she'd come back and tried to explain" in the savory "That Girl Could Sing." He consoles the then-recently deceased Lowell George's daughter in "Of Missing Persons," wishing, over George's Little Feat bandmate Bill Payne's organ, "May you always see what your life is worth."
In the misunderstood opener "Disco Apocolypse," featuring Payne's roller-rink-style organ, Browne sees survivor's strength in those escaping into disco's strobes. "When the world starts turnin'...
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Missing Person on September 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The brief, one line review below really does sum it up in a nutshell--this is a profoundly beautiful masterpiece by Jackson Browne, & as it appears, startlingly underrated AND sadly misunderstood as well (even though it was his lone album to ever top the US Billboard album chart). I'm absolutely stumped as to what makes this album a disappointment in any fan's mind--Browne hadn't lost a drop of his eloquent genius (musical or lyrical), & on this album, "Hold Out", originally released in June of 1980, his brilliance is on full display. Browne never rushes through anything here, giving the songs time to really sink in for maximum impact. It starts off with the grooving "Disco Apocalypse", which features a simple, yet menacing keyboard intro before Browne's punchy vocal delivery grabs you--it creates a feeling of people desparately wanting to break out of the cobwebs of their unsatisfying lives, & it's an ideal album opener. As hard-hitting as the track is, & despite the fact that its chorus is in the first person, it feels like an example of Browne as a seer, whereas most of the rest of the album is intensely personal AS WELL AS emotionally intense. The album's undercurrent "hold out" theme really hits hard, with all-around gorgeous songs like the expansive title track & "Call It A Loan" (with its wonderful guitar phrase--guitarist David Lindley co-wrote the track). You can't praise Browne's craft enough--the lyrics are poetic & deeply affecting, & he finds focused, irresistible & memorable melodies (often quite similar to each other, yet never interchangeable with each other) that are the perfect fit & enhance the words, then wraps his wonderful, compulsively listenable vocals (which are way up in the mix) around it all. Speaking of Jackson's vocals...Read more ›
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