|The National — Trouble Will Find Me (2013)|
The National — Trouble Will Find Me
◊ A masterful sixth studio set...
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio ~ Brooklyn, NY
Album release: May 20 (EU), 21 (North Am), 2013
Recorded: Clubhouse, Dreamland, Aaron's Garage
Record Label: 4AD
01. I Should Live In Salt (4:09)
02. Demons (3:33)
03. Don't Swallow The Cap (4:47)
04. Fireproof (3:00)
05. Sea Of Love (3:43)
06. Heavenfaced (4:25)
07. This Is The Last Time (4:45)
08. Graceless (4:37)
09. Slipped (4:26)
10. I Need My Girl (4:07)
11. Humiliation (5:02)
12. Pink Rabbits (4:38)
13. Hard To Find (4:15)
◊ Matt Berninger classic baritone voice/(born February 13, 1971)
◊ Aaron Dessner songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer/(born April 23, 1976)
◊ Bryce Dessner composer, guitarist, and curator/(born April 23, 1976)
◊ Bryan Devendorf drums
◊ Scott Devendorf bass guitar
Producer: Aaron Dessner & Bryce Dessner
Mixed by Craig Silvey, Peter Katis, and Marcus Paquin
◊ Frontman Matt Berninger describes the material as more “immediate and visceral” than their previous work. Dessner adds that “the songs on one level are our most complex, and on another they’re our most simple and human. It just feels like we’ve embraced the chemistry we have.”
◊ "Trouble Will Find Me is The National's highly anticipated sixth album. Formed in 1999, the Ohio-raised, Brooklyn-based band consists of vocalist Matt Berninger fronting two pairs of brothers: Aaron (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). The band's previous 4AD release, High Violet (May 2010), was met with critical acclaim."
◊ Un bel album, dans la lignée du précédent, l'excellent "High Violet". Recommandé. Rappel: Les 5 précédents sont également disponibles sur ce blog, pensez a utiliser le tag " The National", en bas a gauche de ce post afin de les retrouver facilement.
By Reef Younis (Editor rating: 9/10)
◊ Few groups have carried the weight of the world as grandiosely as The National during their 14 years together, but the Brooklyn-based act continues to make the burden morosely beautiful.
◊ Rich in detail and racked with Matt Berninger’s autobiographical anxieties, ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ is another confessional. His heart is exposed on an immaculately cuffed sleeve, mercilessly plumbing the depths of his 42 years.
◊ Scything and self-effacing, there’s a storied elegance to the desolation and defiance, wrapped in the familiar baritone soliloquies, effortlessly sumptuous piano melodies, and gilded orchestral flourishes.
◊ Energised and empty, torn but always challenging, The National has made a habit of creating vivid contrasts, as they do here. The band hopefully charges forward on the driving ‘Sea Of Love’ (video below), collapses into the yearning ‘I Need My Girl’, and dramatically hangs onto the heavy piano lines of ‘Heavenfaced’.
◊ Tracking Berninger’s tumultuous state of mind and meaning hasn’t always been easy, but his lamenting subplots make sure that tracks like the emphatic ‘Graceless’ or the despondent ‘Fireproof’ continue to become triumphant fixtures rather than forgotten footnotes.
◊ This long into the band’s career, the narratives here – on love, on loss, etc – aren’t new, but they’re crafted with an intimacy and intensity that inspires a simple, continued devotion.
◊ ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ contains the same qualities that made 2005’s ‘Alligator’ and 2007’s ‘Boxer’ albums so vital and personal. This set of tracks will stand with their most masterful.
◊ Trouble Will Find Me, the most self-assured collection of songs produced by the National in its 14-year career, is a tribute to fully evolved artistic vision — and, somewhat less mystically, to sleep deprivation.
◊ Last January, following a twenty-two month tour to promote the band’s previous record, High Violet, guitarist Aaron Dessner returned home to Brooklyn, where the fitfulness of his newborn daughter threw Aaron into a more or less sustained fugue state — “sleepless and up all the time,” as he puts it. Punch-drunk, he shuffled into the band’s studio (situated in Aaron’s backyard), where he amused himself writing musical fragments that he then sent over to vocalist Matt Berninger. Recalls Matt of Aaron, “He’d be so tired while he was playing his guitar and working on ideas that he wouldn’t intellectualize anything. In the past, he and Aaron’s twin brother, Bryce would be reluctant to send me things that weren’t in their opinion musically interesting — which I respected, but often those would be hard for me to connect to emotionally. This time around, they sent me sketch after sketch that immediately got me on a visceral level."
◊ From beginning to end, Trouble Will Find Me possesses the effortless and unself-conscious groove of a downstream swimmer. It’s at times lush and at others austere, suffused with insomniacal preoccupations that skirt despair without succumbing to it. There are alluring melodies, and the murderously deft undercurrent supplied by the Devendorfs.
◊ There are songs that seem (for Matt anyway) overtly sentimental — among them, the Simon & Garfunkel-esque 'Fireproof', 'I Need My Girl' (with Matt’s unforgettable if throwaway reference to a party “full of punks and cannonballers”) and 'I Should Live In Salt' (which Aaron composed as a send-up to the Kinks and which Matt wrote about his brother). While a recognition of mortality looms in these numbers, they’re buoyed by a kind of emotional resoluteness — “We’ll all arrive in heaven alive” — that will surprise devotees of Matt’s customary wry fatalism. Then there are the songs that Aaron describes as “songs you could dance to—more fun, or at least The National’s version of fun.” These include 'Demons' — a mordant romp in 7/4, proof that bleakness can actually be rousing — and the haunting 'Humiliation' in which the insistent locomotion of Bryan’s snarebeat is offset by Matt’s semi-detached gallows rumination: “If I die this instant/taken from a distance/they will probably list it down among other things around town.” Finally there are songs — like 'Pink Rabbits' and the lilting 'Slipped' (the latter termed by Aaron “the kind of song we’ve always wanted to write”) — that aspire to be classics, with Orbison-like melodic geometry.
◊ In these songs, as well as in 'Heavenfaced', Matt emerges from his self-described “comfort zone of chant-rock” and glides into a sonorous high register of unexpected gorgeousness. The results are simultaneously breakthrough and oddly familiar, the culmination of an artistic journey that has led The National both to a new crest and, somehow, back to their beginnings — when, says Aaron, “our ideas would immediately click with each other. It’s free-wheeling again. The songs on one level are our most complex, and on another they’re our most simple and human. It just feels like we’ve embraced the chemistry we have.”
◊ The National (2001)
◊ Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (2003)
◊ Alligator (2005)
◊ Boxer (2007)
◊ High Violet (2010)
◊ Trouble Will Find Me (2013)
Artist moods: -Earnest-Earthy-Literate-Melancholy-Tense/Anxious-Brash-Gloomy-Organic-Reflective-Rousing-Bright-Brittle-Dramatic-Fractured-Somber-Sophisticated-Stylish-Warm-Weary
Biography by Andrew Leahey
◊ 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 Britpop. 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 their studio debut with The National, a self-titled record that appeared in 2001 to considerable acclaim. Two years later, the band returned with Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, a deft blending of alternative country and chamber pop that found the band partnering with producer Peter Katis.
◊ The National continued working with Katis throughout the rest of the decade. Following the release of an EP, Cherry Tree, in 2004, the band signed with Beggars Banquet and released Alligator. Although sales were modest, Alligator proved to be one of the year's most critically approved releases. 2007's Boxer, an ambitious effort that featured orchestration by the Clogs' Padma Newsome and piano by Sufjan Stevens, fared similarly well. It also became the band's first album to chart fairly well, peaking at number 67 on the Billboard 200.
|The National — Trouble Will Find Me (2013)|