[Picture of the cover for the album "High Violet" by The National]I have been quite enjoying The National’s latest album, “High Violet“, mainly because Matt Berninger has a nice baritone. Every so often I feel the need for songs to be sung by a man, and by a man with a man’s voice.

I don’t know why, but falsetto vocal acrobatics can wear me out fast some days.

I can find solace in opera, or I can turn to bands like “The Divine Comedy” or to Richard Hawley. “The National” are in that vein, and it is nice to have an alternative; there ought to be more of this sort of thing in my opinion.

Overall, the sound is fairly straightforward current indy pop. “Sorrow” is a case in point. “Anyone’s Ghost” has an odd drum pattern, but it is still melancholy and wistful, touches of Grizzly Bear and other east coast USA stuff permeate, but still. In fact, there are weird touches of all sorts — for example, of Johnny Cash on “The Runaway” at the beginning, and even bits reminiscent of the band, “Elbow” on tracks like “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks”.

I would think that if you like the likes of Owen Pallett, Grizzly Bear, you could do worse that give The National a punt.

[embedded video of Bloodbuzz Ohio from]

[embedded video of Sorrow from]

Links for The National:



  1. […] in mood and lo-fi approach, but it is more straight, clearer and on focus. They opened for “The National” in Barcelona — now that would have been some […]

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  3. […] this year, I really enjoyed ‘The National’ ‘High Violet‘, and I even did a post on it back in June. I see that this is agreement with a lot of best of 2010 lists I have seen. It got to #11 midway […]

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