Music This week

High Violet The National 7.99 pounds on iTunes, rating: HHHH

Written by MangalDalal | Published: May 15, 2010 10:34:02 pm

The National have been,for a decade,every respectable indie lover’s cherished secret “find”. The Brooklyn-based band gained some attention with their last album,Boxer,but with High Violet,they’re likely to finally gain the recognition they deserve. Critically well-received,the four-day-old album should be the band’s biggest seller thus far. Featuring Matt Berninger’s baritone voice,The National’s songs sound mellow,but,lyrically,are everything but.

While some might say High Violet is the band’s magnum opus,we can’t say it is their best because their previous albums have been excellent too. But it certainly is their biggest. As with their previous two albums,Boxer (with its “Fake empire”,“Mistaken for strangers”,“Slow show”,“Squalor Victoria” and “Start a war”) and Alligator (“Daughters of the Soho riots”,“Abel”,“All the wine”,“Karen” and “Mr. November”),it is hard to pick a few songs from this album. “Runaway” has humming guitars,a bit of defiance and is as euphoric as it can get. “Afraid of everyone” and “Vanderlyle crybaby geeks” are heart-wrenching; “Bloodbuzz Ohio” is upbeat,charismatic and good while listening to in the car. Radiohead’s fans will relate to “Sorrow”,with Berninger singing “Sorrow found me when I was young/ Sorrow waited,and sorrow won.”

It would be too easy to dismiss The National as mellow with indistinct songs; but being under-rated probably suits the band and its fans. High Violet,and The National in general,is subtle,melodious and something you fall in love with. Slowly,almost meditatively.

mangal.dalal@expressindia.com

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