the-national-trouble-will-find-me

In the three years since the release of ‘Boxer’, The National have indisputably become an arena-sized band, their commercial successes now commensurate with their critical acclaim. Are they now writing music with the aim of justifying that status? Opener ‘I Should Live In Salt’ is a typical National slow-burner, one that never quite catches alight, but smoulders to a simmering close. The single ‘Demons’ is torch carrying, downbeat lyrics hidden in cathartic chords, while ‘This Is The Last Time’ ends in a swirl of strings and sadness. To listen to this record is to be swept into a shimmering, monochrome world; a world of chiming, exquisitely painful beauty. Yet in places you get the uncomfortable feeling that the band are now writing to a formula, with echoes of previous songs resonating a little too loudly. The album is consistently very good and the song writing consistently better, but that moment of soul-shifting emotion, that moment the National have been so adept at creating, is missing.

Read all of our new album reviews here, in Loud And Quiet 48, out now


More from