The National have been,for a decade,every respectable indie lovers cherished secret find. The Brooklyn-based band gained some attention with their last album,Boxer,but with High Violet,theyre likely to finally gain the recognition they deserve. Critically well-received,the four-day-old album should be the bands biggest seller thus far. Featuring Matt Berningers baritone voice,The Nationals songs sound mellow,but,lyrically,are everything but.
While some might say High Violet is the bands magnum opus,we cant 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. Radioheads 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.