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High Violet

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iTunes Review

The National perform like a band who have taken their lessons from Leonard Cohen, filtered them through the Tindersticks, stopped off to meet with Serge Gainsbourg, and landed somewhere in the Gothic soundfields of the 4AD record label. Each of their albums has received suitable praise and this album is no slacker. “Terrible Love” is the kind of late-night anthem that makes it hard to believe these guys exist in the present day and were once scheming on how to take over the world back in Ohio. The brilliant, heart-skipping pop of “Anyone’s Ghost” takes on the feeling of a Manchester rain where the icy core of isolation once explored by Joy Division is given a splash of color. “Lemonworld” dances to the end of love with a flashy nightclub backbeat that can’t hide the gray tones of the keyboards and the guitars that insist on their wallflower status. “Runaway” is arguably the sweetest tune here. Its gentle gait sounds like a come-on from a European coffee shop caught somewhere in time between the ‘60s and the new century, where music isn’t so much nostalgia but a means to create a better life for everyone involved.

Customer Reviews

The birth of a classic

This album has been streaming on different sites for the past couple of weeks, and even before its release today it became my favourite album. I've been a fan of The National since the release of Boxer, having gone back and bought their back catalogue albums. Each one has its own very distinctive character, and High Violet is no different. It's a stunning album, from the intentionally lo-fi Terrible Love and Lemonworld, to the lush Runaway and England, two of the finest songs you'll ever hear. In fact, the final four songs on the album in and of themselves make this a classic. Seriously, this album will be huge this year — I guarantee it will be up the top of most critics' best of lists for the year, if not the decade.


buy it. play. put on repeat.

Another great offering

This albums offers a fresh perspective from their previous albums. Less angry, a little resigned with soft and surprisingly beautiful melodies.
Highlights for me being Conversation 16, Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks and Bloodbuzz Ohio. Great production and a must listen.


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 made...
Full Bio