The National | Trouble Will Find Me Review

Brooklyn based band The National is set to release its sixth studio album on May 21st called Trouble Will Find Me.  

The predecessor to their latest album was 2010’s High Violet. It featured a litany of great tracks such as Little Faith, Bloodbuzz Ohio, Lemonworld etc.,  by most accounts this album was very well received, it was the strongest album The National had released up until that point. Each track on that album carried with it a sense of dreary reflectiveness matched with a distinctively expansive tone. If the goal of any good musician is to create something that satisfies the part of the brain that responds to a sense of development that ends with a crowning finish, then High Violet hit the nail right on the head. Though, some people have an issue with Matt Berninger’s baritone voice, finding it unfamiliar by comparison to most lead vocalists who front popular bands, but it’s a large part of what makes The National stand apart in a sea of tenors.     

As always, the newest album from The National takes on the subject of not being a particularly magnanimous human being and exploring the nature of imperfect relationships.  The track Slipped has a few lyrics that touch on what might be the overall sentiment behind this album and The National’s music in general. The chorus goes: “I keep coming back here where everything slips, but I will not spill my guts.”  What slips out in The National’s music is an understanding that people suck, they drink and fight and fuck each other over, passionately loving and hating along the way.  Though, this is not a particularly new revelation to most, it is not so often that a band can put this misanthropic point across in a pleasant way through their music. 
It’s best to come right out and say it, Trouble Will Find Me is not as good as High Violet but that does not mean it is not a great album.  The album opens up with five strong tracks one after another; once it hits the sixth the quality takes a slight but noticeable dip. Heavenfaced and This Is The Last Time just don’t seem to have anything particularly striking about them, as a result, they fail to completely satisfy the listener.  But once you get to Graceless all is forgiven, this track features very strong procession that drives the song from beginning to end.  I Need My Girl is the strongest song on the album and is reminiscent of High Violet’s England in its use of classical string and a synthesiser.      

Review of High Violet

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