The National just keep going from strength to strength. High Violet was their 2010 album and as with all their other releases it received both critical and commercial acclaim. Their warm heart-on-sleeve form of heartland rock seems to appeal to everyone - older music listeners, hipsters, babies. They could probably teach a course in how to write mature and poetic indie-rock and they certainly already have the hip lecturer look down pat.
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Indies-only violet vinyl edition double LP on 4AD.
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Who the National are is anybody's guess, they've swooped over my radar and nestled in the international "mature" indie higher echelons with ease. They look like a bunch of old acid head dudes largely, if the unflinchingly stark portraits of them inside the sleeve are owt to go by. Musically, they play heavy-hearted anthemic American rock with some cracking understated wistful melodies & bristling atmospherics. It all sounds incredibly austere & very New York. If Interpol had babies with Tindersticks the resulting offspring might well come out sounding something like the songs on 'High Violet'. I was expecting to dislike this but there's a serious depth & craftsmanship to these tunes and the song 'Anyone's Ghost' is making me feel a bit weepy. With such a dull name I expected the music to follow suit yet i'm quite taken by this warm-hearted, sad-eyed collection. Nice one lads.
9/10 Greig 25th March 2014
One of those albums where every single track merits it's place. The distinctive vocals of The National are welcome on each track and you never tire of them. The broad range of sounds used by the bands mean that every track has its own identify and stands out from the rest - no mean feat when they are all so good. An album for first thing in the morning or last thing at night, it can be euphoric and soothing all at once, a true classic.
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- High Violet by The National
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