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The National

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Album Review

This Ohio-based band strikes a lush, adorable balance between the country-pop of bands such as Jayhawks and Golden Smog and the gloomy, depressing crooning of Tom Waits. Lead singer Matt Berninger manages to transcend leveling the fine background with some reflection and introspection on "Cold Girl Fever" and "Watching You Well." The country hues touched on in "American Mary" are only surpassed by the album's perfect song "Theory of the Crows," a morbid waltz through loneliness and loss. Throughout it all, the band manages not only to exceed their pigeonholed genres but gives a fresh perspective with brilliantly crafted numbers. Starting up where Wilco left off with their Summerteeth album, the group delivers a generous heaping of Americana and alt-country. Brilliant.

Customer Reviews

fever?

i heard this band a few years ago, saw them live and was blown away. poetic, melodic and beautiful. cold girl fever is a truely beautiful song. if there was any justice in this world the national would be heard by so many more people. up there with the wordplay of nick cave with a little nick drake thrown in. so good, so underated. listen, and love

Simply the best band around

I stumbled upon this band about five years ago and so, so wish it had been earlier. They are quite simply the best band around. I have to see them live and will do no matter what the next time they are in the U.K.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although formed during the post-punk revival of the late '90s, the National took inspiration from a wider set of influences, including country-rock, Americana, indie rock, and Brit-pop. The lineup began taking shape in Ohio and officially cemented itself in New York, with baritone vocalist Matt Berninger joining forces with two sets of brothers — Scott (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums), and Aaron (guitar) and Bryce Dessner (guitar). After establishing themselves as a live act, the bandmates...
Full bio