the-national-M-Review-No27THE NATIONAL

Trouble Will Find Me


Though the National is often described as “world-weary,” “world-wary” may be more accurate. On five previous albums, the Brooklyn-based band crafted increasingly sophisticated songs populated by characters that live in their own heads, reluctant to engage as they parse the secret angst and uncertainty of evolving adulthood. The group’s latest is a stunning refinement of the form—a search for self set to elegant music from a band that is more self-assured than ever. There’s an underlying melancholy in the lyrics of frontman Matt Berninger, whose mournful baritone complements the often-powerful arrangements. Bryan Devendorf’s drumming propels “Don’t Swallow the Cap” and “Demons,” while big guitars cut through “Sea of Love.” On opener “I Should Live in Salt,” a little musical stutter accentuates the lush blend of guitar and keyboards. Elsewhere, guest spots from St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens and Sharon Van Etten help flesh out the National’s best album so far. –Eric R. Danton


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