GENRE | HEAVYHEARTED MELODICISM
VERDICT | PURCHASE IMMEDIATELY
LABEL | 4AD
RELEASE | 5.20.13
When we last left The National, they were basking in the glow of High Violet, an album of lofty praise and decent sales (in this day and age) that somehow left me cold. How could an album that sounds so much like its wonderful full-length predecessor, Boxer, be so unsatisfying?
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, and who knows what pushes the fickle critic’s buttons?
The point is, Trouble Will Find Me is here, and it’s wonderful.
It doesn’t even sound all that different from High Violet, but for some reason it’s infinitely more satisfying.
Everything that The National does well—the layers of guitar, the subtle finger picking, the subdued piano and quiet vocal harmonies along with Matt Berninger’s leads—is here, though drummer Bryan Devendorf’s thunderous drums are quieter than on previous releases. Not to worry: they’re still propulsive.
All the tracks have their charms, but the standout is “Fireproof,” with a well-placed, ominous low chord chiming in each time Berninger sings the phrase, “You’re fireproof,” followed by “Nothing breaks your heart.”
Put on the headphones. Listen to it from start to finish. Let its somber tones wash over you all summer long.