High Violet is the fifth studio album by the National, which was released on May 10, 2010 in Europe and on May 11, 2010 in North America via 4AD. The band produced the album themselves, assisted by Peter Katis with whom they worked on their previous albums Alligator and Boxer at their own studio in Brooklyn, New York, and at Katis' Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The sculpture on the album cover was created by artist Mark Fox, and is called The Binding Force.An expanded edition of High Violet was released through 4AD on November 22, 2010. The reissue includes the standard 11-track album along with a new bonus disc, featuring the unreleased tracks "You Were a Kindness" and "Wake Up Your Saints" as well as alternate versions, B-sides, and live recordings.Wikipedia
I kept listening to this album hoping it would eventually grab me. It's not bad, it just doesn't pull me in. I think the issue is, like other bands of this genre, every song is basically built around one riff that repeats over and over - maybe growing or fading, but still the same riff. The riffs are good and at least each song is somewhat unique, but individual songs don't seem to "go anywhere." It didn't help that they started with a lo-fi sound on Terrible Love and I'm not a fan of that style of recording. I liked the second track (Sorrow) much better. I like the singer's voice - reminds me of Mark Sandman from Morphine (particularly on Little Faith). Other songs I liked: Afraid of Everyone, Bloodbuzz Ohio, and England. I'll give it a 3 because I wouldn't mind hearing it again, but don't think I'll seek it out.
Amazing album from an amazing band. I could probably listen to Matt Berninger sing the phone book and be happy.
The National is good, and this album is them at their peak imo. I really have to be in a mood to listen to them though, and someone listening to them off the cuff may not be the best introduction to them.
There was a lot of hype about this. It's kind of okay, but it doesn't exactly get you so excited that you have to publicly shit in a bin, does it?
An album that I have loved since I first heard it. The kind of music that either has a personal connection with people or doesn't. Not groundbreaking or earth-shattering, but has an ability to mainline emotion (even if through artifice), which is impressive. Also, will possibly be one of the last complete "albums" in the age of the album.
A friend recommended this to me back in 2010 or 2011. I had no idea who they were but was completely blown away by this album. Nothing before or since by the National resonated the same but I listened to this one endlessly for months. I still sometimes put it on when I just need an album I can let repeat. Dark and brooding maybe, but I don't mind that. In fact I think I'm starting to see I'm quite drawn to that because the lyrics are raw and honest and really make you think. The music plays right into it - key piano and strings to punctuate the message, with some distortion (guitars or engineered?) here and there to offset it and give it a foggy feel. Highlights - Terrible Love (sets the tone for the rest), Little Faith (lyrics match a little Catholic revolt inside me?), Afraid of Everyone (love the beat and the lyrics are profound), Bloodbuzz Ohio (the vocals just carry and fit so well with the music), England (love the piano and the orchestral-like backing, as well as the crescendo in the last 100s), Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks (lyrics and music so sad but so beautiful).
"Boxer" was their big breakthrough, the album that led to a huge profile of The National in The New York Times containing fly-on-the-wall moments during the making of this album (an instant classic, by the way). My lone critique is that the Alternate Version of "Terrible Love" is miles better than the original that opens the album. And the band knew it, so much so that they released an expanded version of High Violet almost immediately to include the alternate version as a way of correcting the mistake. It's a minor nitpick, and that alternate version has thankfully become the standard. This is the album that firmly put The National on my Top Five list of all-time favorite bands. It's why Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran sought out the talents of Aaron Dessner to make new albums years after they became established pop stars. Anyone unfamiliar with The National should spend some time watching live performances of this album's closing track, Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks. It's how they usually end their concerts. Matt Berninger will walk back on stage for the encore performance, often with a glass of wine, and turn the microphone to the audience, compelling them to sing the entire song while he stands back basking in the joy of hearing the crowd throw the words back to him. It became such a staple at National shows that a mic was no longer needed. The crowd knew exactly what their role was to close out the show. We should all be so lucky to know the happiness Berninger feels during this moment of a National concert.
I used to listen to this album and Boxer back to back on road trips to and from college in the Midwest. I also have a distinct memory of listening to this album on an 18 hour train ride from Italy to Germany after missing a flight and needing to rush back to meet my girlfriend, who was flying in to visit me at the end of a study abroad program. I don’t know how it would be listening to this for the first time, probably comes off as nicely orchestrated existential whining from a baritone voiced white dude, but that was really a vibe for me during my mid-twenties. I usually reserve 5 star ratings for albums that really blow me away, or are personal favorites that I can listen to over and over (clearly this album falls into the later category).
When one is muddling through lists of scratched down to-dos and tasks, shopping, returning, hunting, forgetting, as the cold wind bites through the light sweatshirt you protect your fragile torso with, since the heat in your car makes it too hot to keep on your coat, and yet, how cold the parking lot is. The National knows this sorrow, they know the pain of an accumulating hill of failure and restart.
There were some great moments musically, but I found myself having trouble getting through it. A large part of it is the guy’s voice... at times it sounds like he’s so stoned he’s struggling to even stand in front of the mic, let alone sing. Also, I would describe his singing style as “apathetic” Favorite track(s): “Little Faith” and “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks”
As summer turns to autumn, this record should really enrapture that slightly melancholic changing of seasons, but it doesn't. They're a raging herd of dull cunts.
Absolute classic. One of those albums i know every lyric to and can listen straight through at any moment.
One of the best bands of the last decade.
oomf- bloodbuzz ftw
Really nice indie rock album I'd give it a 9/10
Quintessential 2010s sound, with very interesting composition and instrument layering. Ladytron meets Arcade Fire! I listened to the live version and Squalor Victoria was splendid.
Mope-y, dirge-y and wonderful.
Not sure what my favorite National album is, but this one sure is great!
"High Violet" is absolutely, far and away, one of the best albums I've ever heard. I got into The National after "Boxer" came out and HV was the first new release I got to experience. A truly incredible work, 10/10.
Un dels nous clàssics. A l'alçada dels millors discos històrics del rock alternatiu. Una banda en un estat de forma sobrenatural. 'Boxer' ja havia deixat emprempta però no ens havia preparat per aquesta bogeria de creativitat i savoir faire. Tampoc després han pogut igualar-lo. Així que només ens queda disfrutar-lo i ser feliços per haver estat coetanis de tal obra mestra
As good as it gets. Great production, great music and fantastic lyrics.
Indy folk sound. Cool. Low voice singer. Great album all the way through.
This is a band I had never even heard of before! Interesting sounds, was great for background music while I was working.
My favourite of theirs is Alligator but this has lots of their best songs on. The production especially stands out to me as being the best fit for his voice and lyrics they've had
Not unlistenable but very boring.
One thing I find so frustrating about this band is that they will let a song build and build and build... before just leaving it stuck in 2nd gear on a repeated refrain? There's no payoff to any of the tension built in unique arrangements and instrumentals, just kind of a dull fizzle as if the band ran out of steam halfway through writing the song.
It’s just so dreary. The whole album is tonally and sonically monotonous. I don’t get all the hype about this band. Bland. Blah.
Basically the same song over and over again. Lead vocalist has no range.
Cookie cutter indie with absolutely no distinguishing features. Just choke the air with reverb laden guitars and chiming pianos. Make every song sound like an uphill slog with a cheap emotional payoff as your reward. Fuck this, I actively hate this kind of lazy, faux-sincere hogwash
Богоугодная хуйня, сначала понурая гуляла под дождём, а потом надежда какая-то появилась, короче, всем советую 👍🏻
Really good album, probably helped to such a high score by the fact that I listened to it a few times through. Reminds me a lot of some of my favourite bands, but in a way that doesn't feel like they are just copying anyone. For example, they sound a bit like a younger, American, version of Elbow. Terrible Love, Lemonworld, and Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks stood out for me
It's a little hard for me to explain why I liked this so much. Upon first listen, I spent some time paying attention to lyrics, but for the most part my ears focused on the music and the vocals - and those were just very very pleasant for me to hear. This has a TON of potential to become one of my favorite albums, and I'll definitely check out more of the National...it's something I've been putting off for a while.
Just a bunch of really smart songs with rich instrumentation that rewards multiple listens. I love this record. Best track: Runaway
I can't decide if this one or Boxer is my favorite National album.
This one caught me completely off guard, might be more 4.5 than 5 stars but whatever I loved this one. I’ve never clicked with whole albums I’d heard from this album in the past, but this album was lovely and had a driving energy to it. I need to revisit this band this band’s discography I think maybe my tastes have broadened
I’m never going to give anything by The National less than a 5
5 av 5
Radio head vibes af
wow. Glad this found me when it did. adult music. morose ornate and super full
Loved it! love the vibes.
Prachtige muziek! Steengoede zanger ook. Een trip door een donkere sfeer met fantastische nummers
I had never heard this before but loved it immediately, it's the first new (to me) CD this thing has recommended that I can say that about. The vibe here is very much slow, sad, and relatively simple songs, but with an incredible diversity of instrumentation and sense of musical color that allows each melodic/harmonic idea to effectively be played a half-dozen different ways and gradually evolve over the course of a single track. In that way this is a very close comp to "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", which seems like a clear inspiration. Let's get out of the way first what this album does not do well. It's not happy - very much the opposite - although it is at times fun, fast, and surprisingly danceable. Many songs feature or at least include a segment with a dancy drum beat, and despite the overwhelming somber tone it's actually played pretty fast (generally in the ~120 bpm range). And there aren't any really catchy singles, although it's of strong and consistent quality throughout. It's also not virtuosic - their singer has a fairly unique and pleasant voice, but with a very limited (and very low) vocal range, and there aren't any other discernible melodic instrumental solos on the CD. So they mostly deserve an "incomplete" there. Their singer's voice does suit the mood of the songs pretty well, with his sleepy and unexcitable baritone evoking the generally depressing tone, but the key to their success is that they have so much melodic instrumental color backing him up, it's everywhere on every song. So then to their strengths. This album is impeccably produced and so chock-full of wonderful little moments that I had to listed to it 3 times just to form a real opinion, and I'm still not sure I got the majority of it. Just to give some concrete examples, "Terrible Love" adds (in order) string counter-melody, distorted guitar harmony, shakers, a dance-beat, piano arpeggiated harmonies, an alternate-melodic bridge, more piano harmonies, Beck-like cooing backing vocals, and then more string counter-melody. Then it blows up, playing everything at once, including what I believe is an alternate minor chord on the conclusion of every line of the alternate chorus, and then it disintegrates just as completely into a danceable indie-rock frenzy. Every song is like that - there's just so much stuff to play with, and every song evolves in a unique and fascinating way. I'm not totally sure where to place it. On the one hand, I find it fascinating and lovely. On the other hand, it's missing one big thing - catchy singles - and I don't think it's quite as good as YHF (a very touch comparison). And generally, because I'm looking for novelty, I tend to over-rate things that are new to me at any level of quality and under-rate old hat. So I'm on the fence about 4 vs. 5, but fuck it, I'll give it a 5. I might listen to this a dozen more times.
Well it's a tour de force. One of the National's best. Got some of the absolute bangers on it like Terrible Love, Bloodbuzz Ohio and Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.
Still probably my favorite National album.
A record of the highest quality, with not a bad or uninteresting song in the bunch. This is an easy inclusion in the list and it makes no sense that it's been dropped. The National merits at least three other records; they were the best rock band in the world for a good long run of years, offering a higher-class product -- smarter, more stylish, and thoughtful and interesting -- as people of taste know. Editors reveal themselves to fall quite short of that standard by overlooking the National.
The National won't be on the radio on your drive home, or listed in Rolling Stone's Top 500. The most press I've seen them recieve is being mentioned in a piece about Taylor Swift's last couple albums, of which they are featured/produced. Commercial success may never find them, but a connection to their listeners has - and it's no exception with High Violet. For me, this is a nearly perfect album. Excellent production and instrumentals, and Matt's voice you either love or hate, I love. If you get a chance to catch a live show, I highly recommend it - the energy infectious. Fav Song - England
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES, I already listen to this album on repeat. Easy 5 stars, makes me want to retroactively go back and downgrade every other album, I have been being too generous with my ratings. Standouts include Bloodbuzz Ohio, Lemonworld, England, Vanderline Crybaby Geeks, Terrible Love, and Little Faith. And the rest of them.
Highlight tracks: Terrible love, Sorrow, Afraid of Everyone Sadboy hours Great ambient guitarwork Sounds inspired by Pink Floyd stylistically Fantastic chill alt rock album to relax or fall asleep to, even just have the feels 5/5
“I Need My Girl” is the song my wife picked for our wedding, so I’ve got a soft spot for The National. Nuff said.
I like The National. This album is what brought me around. Not all their songs are catchy, but they are all well done. England in particular is very good.
I LOVED this album.
A favorite of dad rock. 5/5
This moody creation happened to arrive on a day when I was dealing with a lot of depressing shit. These are dense, moody, reflective songs. The sky was gloomy, my spirits were low, and High Violet was perfect!
Each of these songs takes me on a journey that's hard to put into words. The instrumentation, the vocals, the lyrics, all come together for me into an album I'd like to spend the next few days with while putting the rest of the project on hold. This was new to me, and I want to get to know it very well and make up for the last decade I was without it. It's a headphones in the dark kind of album that makes you forget what year it is as it carries you to Ohio in a swarm of bees.
It's a good one, one might argue their commercial peak.
Mijn favoriete plaat van The National. zowel qua songs als productie-technisch echt geweldig,
Even mijn 5 sterren afstoffen want het is alweer een tijdje geleden dat ik deze kon uitdelen. Voor mij is het de drums die hun sounds zo uniek maakt. Prachtige plaat!
Heard a few national tracks and liked them, the track on the Taylor Swift album we've had here was really good too..... But never listened to an album before. Really melancholy sounding, right up my street. Enjoyed it and will be listening to more. The only track I knew was bloodbuzz Ohio, think it was the best track too. Lemonworld and anyone's ghost were great too. Probably have to be in a certain mood for the national, but I'll be back
Had never heard anything by these guys before but I thought this was an awesome album. I really like a band called The Airborne Toxic Event and I can definitely hear some of the influences from The National. I listened to the Expanded Edition which has a far better version of Terrible Love. Will definitely listen again and check out some of their other stuff. Highlights: Bloodbuzz Ohio Runaway Terrible Love (Alternate Version)
Thoroughly enjoyed it, has the misty quality of indie rock that I like. Never heard anything by The National before, and I feel like I've missed out. Highlights were Runaway, Anyone's Ghost, and Terrible Love. Was on a rail replacement bus in Poland on Friday listening to it, providing the perfect soundtrack to a weird experience.
I’ve listened to this 10000 times, so it was great to see it make the list. It’s pointless trying to write a little review to myself about this as I know how incredible a record it is. The National are the most important band in the world to me, everything they do just ooze’s class. This record in particular is one of them where every song on it at one point in time has been a favourite of mine. From start to finish, each song is 10/10 for me. Just like Boxer before it, and Trouble Will Find Me after (my all time favourite). If you usually love this sort of music but didn’t get this, give it another go. It took me a good few listens over a few years to go from ‘The National are good’ to ‘The National are fucking incredible!’. Theyre a slow burner, but it’s worth it.
Atmospheric, thoughtful, a clear theme that keeps through the whole album; it's a bit moody at times but overall quite enjoyable
Had a great time. Good vibe.
Very slow, again not for work. Very much enjoy them, will probably listen to their other work now
Very good indie..
I love High Violet! Such a great album! So beautiful and heartbreaking. Great instrumentation and feel.
Melodic and beautiful, but a bit sleep and sad.
Easy listening. Low-key.
Very chill sound overall. Dude has a nice deep voice.
Pretty good 8/10
Great album - love The National so this is well known to me. Favourite song-Afraid of Everyone
Great mellow album
My indie cred is damaged by the fact that I've never listened to a full The National album. Heard many songs, just never got super into them. Happy to be listening through this. It's good!
Really enjoyed this album. Only the second National album I've heard. Found this one far less depressing. Reminded me of Joy Divison/New Order at times.
More enjoyable of an album than I recall it being. I know I listened a ton when it came out, but it doesn't have lasting power the same way Boxer does. Still a solid offering. Really like Conversation 16 and Bloodbuzz Ohio. 4/5
This album was new by me. It's not really something I can see myself coming back to, but it was a good listen. The music faded into the background a bit, but it was still good 4/5
Pretty cool modern rock. A little slow and droning. Similar to Interpol.
I'm not too into the singer, but the lush and somber production holds this indie rock album up pretty well. Favorites: "Terrible Love", "Little Faith", "Bloodbuzz Ohio"
"I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees". Not everything here connects for me, but this is very listenable. There's some very good stuff here. Very warm production. I do like it.
Really got into this today while knocking back some yard work. Enjoyed his effortless lead vocals, almost soft conversations at times. Great producing on the tracks , really liked when they punched it up with a little blast from the horn section .
I liked it very much so
Nisam ovom albumu dao previše pažnje prije, drago mi je da sad jesam.
Koliko se sjećam, mislim da još do sad nije bio nijedan album ovih kraljeva. Iskreno, imaju previše dobrih albuma pa je teško to rangirati nekada. Sada se ovaj album po mojoj rang listi njihovih albuma nalazi nakon Alligatora, Boxera, TWFM i onda tu dolazi ovaj albumček, ali je svejedno jako dobar, i to puno govori. The National je stvarno jedna jako dobra grupa koju jako volim i koju sam imao priliku vidjeti na Šalati uživo, i bio sam oduševljen i...želim naravno opet ako je ikako moguće! Pjesme poput: Lemonworld, Conversation 16, Runaway, England, Bloodbuzz Ohio i naravno neizostavna pjesma Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks čini ovaj album takav kakav je u mojim ušesima. Što znači da je drugi dio albuma tako popunjen jebenim stvarima da je to čudo.
Jebeni su svaki put. Četvorka jedino zato što su mi neki drugi njihovi draži albumi
Spotify has been nudging me with songs from this LP over the last few years. I had a some of them on heavy rotation, Bloodbuzz Ohio, Anyone’s Ghost and England. It’s music for adults by adults. Matt Berninger has a great voice, writes somber lyrics and reminds me a bit of Nick Drake. The band is competent and stays out of the way so that the singing is front and center, although the drummer tends to pound away a bit Bonham-like at times, which to me means they’d be more kick-ass live.
Solid 4. Can't be a 5 because I can't figure out what he is singing about on any track. Bloodbuzz is a classic and the highlight of the album. Cover art (original cover) 5/5 you can always rely on 4ad
Joy Division / Interpol lite but enjoyable enough.
Not a big Indie person but this album was really good. I think the only song that I wasn't a big fan of (but that might change) was the opening track "Terrible Love." I think it was just the wall of sound that percussion created. The second half of the album from "Bloodbuzz Ohio" to the end really struck a chord though. I've had a few people recommend the National to me in the past but this is the first time I've heard any of their albums. Looking forward to checking out Alligator and Boxer as well.
vibed to it
Good stuff and like the singer. The music was catchy
Better than most other albums of this era, less whimsical and more muscular.