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The National: High VioletHigh Violet (2010)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Forget fingers--Matt Berninger has the world on the tip of his tongue. Few singers have as distinct or as stirring a voice as the National's frontman, and on the band's fifth studio album, High Violet, he's as morose and transfixing as ever. Berninger's voice gives the National a real air of des.
Forget fingers--Matt Berninger has the world on the tip of his tongue.
"I'll defend my family with my orange umbrella, I'm afraid of everyone / I'm afraid of everyone, with my shining blue star / With my kid on my shoulders I try, to not hurt anybody I like / But I don't have the drugs to sort it out, I don't have the drugs to sort it out."
It's the intricacies of the instrumentation that really start to sink in after repeated listens. On "Afraid of Everyone," what seems at first to be a fairly standard rhythm is mired in complexity. The deep tones of guitarist Dessner's guitar and the weaving in and out of guitarist Aaron Dessner's soulful-but-reserved progressions create a second layer of sound. On "Lemonworld," it's Devendorf's drumming that comes to the forefront. One of the more fast-paced songs on the album sees Berninger croon atop Devendorf's pronounced rhythms, and as Berninger saunters over the mid-tempo track, the drumming becomes louder and the rhythms more varied.
It's a perfect example of the National's innate ability to marry deep, captivating vocals and sweeping, complex rhythms. It's not the pace nor the duration of the National's songs that matter, but the feeling and mood contained within.
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