Thursday 22 July 2010

Consolation From The National

This album has been out for a while but I just didn't get to writing this review with all the concerts and festivals lately. But these guys really deserve a thorough review. The release of The National's latest album 'High Violet' is already their fifth and yet they have been a relatively unknown band so far despite their highly acclaimed ealier albums, at least outside the hardcore indie community. But that's all about to change. I didn't know too much about the band either but the internet had been buzzing for months already about this release. So what was all the fuzz about?

The National - High Violet (Ronald Says 9 out of 10)
It doesn't happen a lot but when I first heard the record I immediately fell in love with it. The dark and sad sound with the warm voice of Matt Berninger combined into tranquil songs are pleasant to listen to. Although the songs aren't cheery and the lyrics are very sad it never gets really too depressing. Instead the warm songs are consoling. Like a strong arm wrapped around you, a shoulder to cry on. Not like someone who's trying to cheer you up, but someone that's listening and is crying with you. A bluesy melancholy mood that you don't want to get out of but want to immerse yourself in for a while.

Although their earlier albums all are very good on this album everything comes together. It's a well balanced record. The songs are little gems and there isn't a weak spot to find. The lyrics have great ringing lines that work well with the gloomy music.
Like in album opener 'Terrible Love':
But I won't follow you into the rabbit hole
I said I would, but then I saw
Your shivered bones
They didn't want me to

Or from 'Conversation 16':
I'm a confident liar
Have my head in the oven so you know where I'll be
I'll try to be more romantic
I want to believe in everything you believe

Singles 'Bloodbuzz Ohio' and 'Anyone's Ghost' are well chosen and deservedly are getting quite some air play. Without a doubt this is album of the year material and it will end up high on many year lists. It sure will on mine.

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