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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

It will make you wish you never lived in New York, no matter where you grew up.

What we've got here is... A band that has gone past developed, and transitioned into singular entity of living breathing musical spectacular. Similar results can often be very boring and formulated, however every bit of these songs feels organic, and full of life. Fertile enough to create little miniature versions of themselves if they were ever allowed to mate. Berninger's lyrics seem to come as natural as the dialect he's been using since birth, each phrase full of powerful sub-tones, and themes within themes. The overall message of course being New York life, the excuses to leave, the late night misconceptions, the torture parties, etc. Each lyric backed with a group of melodies so tightly packed and distributed it could put UPS out of a job. The National have formulated a musical experience so well equipped for modern times, modern thinking, and modern listening that it may take a couple years to fully appreciate. Needless to say, the experience will leave you more than breathless, you may not wish to hear any other note from any other band, for a very long time.


The National is that exceptional avis, a band that makes music as interecting lyrically as it is musically. High Violet is Boxers' older and more mature sister; the sister that's not quit as adorable, but has an inherent sexual edge. Once again, the songs create an emotional atmosphere that gets in your mind; your soul, and will elevate your musical expectations. Matt Berningers lyrics are a poignant exploration of an individual that has both a superior sense of confidence mixed with an inferiority complex. THE NATIONAL IS LIKE NO OTHER BAND - TOTALLY ORIGINAL!

Anything they touch

Anything they touch is just amazing. Absolutely, amazing.


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...
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