Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top 10 of 2013 - Albums: #5 The National: Trouble Will Find Me

5. The National, Trouble Will Find MeHighlight Track: "I Need My Girl"
I don't need to spend much time on this album. It's amazing. It's in at least everyone's top 5 (and honestly, mostly top 3) for the year. Go buy it. Here's what Rolling Stone's David Frickle had to say:
"This is the sound of despair, according to singer Matt Berninger of the National: "If you want to make me cry," he claims early on this record, in "Don't Swallow the Cap," "play Let It Be or Nevermind." It is a surprising admission, given the Brooklyn band's established anguish on albums like 2007's Boxer and the 2010 bestseller, High Violet: a chaos of broken a ffections and mortal fears drawn with spare rhythmic and melodic flourishes, often in wide, open reverb. On much of Trouble Will Find Me as well, the terse phrases and single-tone exclamations of guitarists Bryce and Aaron Dessner hang around Berninger's baritone gravity like clouded starlight.
But there is pop, too: not much Beatles or Nirvana but enough pre-stadium U2 and classic David Bowie – that clarity and engagement – to draw you closer, faster, to the grace and crisis here. Berninger sings only of bad options in "Sea of Love" but does it against a sizzling pulse and a golden glaze of harmonies. In "Fireproof," his deep, scuffed voice is ringed with teardrop guitar. "I Need My Girl" is compact urgency with a dusky guitar figure that's actually a little country. In another age, the song could have been a radio-breakthrough single. Now it's just good news: The National are letting light and air into their shadows." - David Frickle

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