Recently reunited with J Mascis in Dinosaur Jr and frontman of both Sebadoh and Folk Implosion, Lou Barlow can geniunely lay claim to being one of the most prolific songwriters of his generation. Holding Back The Year is taken from his solo album Emoh and is a good example of why he's held in such regard.
Introduced by some slapping percussion and a beautifully strummed guitar, Barlow throws some sweet harmonies into the mix to create a lovely, uplifting song with a hint of melancholy to it. It could be about fighting illness (there are lyrics mentioning "the poison took its toll, made you paper thin") or the beauty of domestication (Lou mentions his kitten, which is kind of sweet). Whatever it's about, it sounds wonderful.
The addition of three non-album tracks, the starkly lovely Finger and Terrorise, together with the slightly more raucous Refused makes this another fine release from one of America's best cult figures.