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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

High Violet

The National

2010

High Violet

Album Summary

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

Rating

3.31

Votes

4944

Genres

  • Rock
  • Indie
Reviews
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View Author
Mon Mar 07 2022
3

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.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
4

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.

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Tue Sep 06 2022
2

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?

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Tue Feb 01 2022
1

Shit

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Tue Sep 06 2022
1

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.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

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.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

Amazing album from an amazing band. I could probably listen to Matt Berninger sing the phone book and be happy.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
2

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”

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Sat Jan 29 2022
2

Not unlistenable but very boring.

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Thu Feb 24 2022
2

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.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
2

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.

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Mon Oct 05 2020
1

Basically the same song over and over again. Lead vocalist has no range.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
1

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

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Fri Sep 18 2020
5

Absolute classic. One of those albums i know every lyric to and can listen straight through at any moment.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

One of the best bands of the last decade.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

oomf- bloodbuzz ftw

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Really nice indie rock album I'd give it a 9/10

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

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.

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Sat Feb 06 2021
5

Very good

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

Mope-y, dirge-y and wonderful.

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Sat Jan 15 2022
5

Not sure what my favorite National album is, but this one sure is great!

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

"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.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

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

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

Богоугодная хуйня, сначала понурая гуляла под дождём, а потом надежда какая-то появилась, короче, всем советую 👍🏻

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Tue Feb 22 2022
5

As good as it gets. Great production, great music and fantastic lyrics.

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Thu Feb 24 2022
5

Indy folk sound. Cool. Low voice singer. Great album all the way through.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

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).

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

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

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

"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.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
5

Beautiful

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Mon Apr 04 2022
5

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.

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Tue May 03 2022
5

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).

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Sat May 14 2022
5

Just a bunch of really smart songs with rich instrumentation that rewards multiple listens. I love this record. Best track: Runaway

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Thu Jun 02 2022
5

I can't decide if this one or Boxer is my favorite National album.

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Wed Jul 20 2022
5

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

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Wed Jul 20 2022
5

I’m never going to give anything by The National less than a 5

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Fri Aug 12 2022
5

5 av 5

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

Radio head vibes af

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Loved it

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Sat Sep 03 2022
5

Stately

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Wed Sep 21 2022
5

wow. Glad this found me when it did. adult music. morose ornate and super full

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Fri Sep 30 2022
5

Loved it! love the vibes.

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Sat Oct 15 2022
5

Prachtige muziek! Steengoede zanger ook. Een trip door een donkere sfeer met fantastische nummers

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Sat Oct 15 2022
5

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.

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Tue Nov 01 2022
5

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.

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Sun Nov 13 2022
5

Still probably my favorite National album.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

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.

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Mon Dec 05 2022
5

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.

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Wed Sep 02 2020
4

Atmospheric, thoughtful, a clear theme that keeps through the whole album; it's a bit moody at times but overall quite enjoyable

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Had a great time. Good vibe.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

Very slow, again not for work. Very much enjoy them, will probably listen to their other work now

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Very good indie..

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Sat Jan 16 2021
4

I love High Violet! Such a great album! So beautiful and heartbreaking. Great instrumentation and feel.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

This is a band I had never even heard of before! Interesting sounds, was great for background music while I was working.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

Melodic and beautiful, but a bit sleep and sad.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

Easy listening. Low-key.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Very chill sound overall. Dude has a nice deep voice.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

espectacular

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Pretty good 8/10

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Great album - love The National so this is well known to me. Favourite song-Afraid of Everyone

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

Great mellow album

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

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!

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Tue Dec 14 2021
4

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.

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Tue Dec 14 2021
4

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

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Wed Dec 15 2021
4

8/10

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Wed Dec 22 2021
4

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

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Wed Dec 29 2021
4

Pretty cool modern rock. A little slow and droning. Similar to Interpol.

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Tue Jan 04 2022
4

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"

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Mon Jan 17 2022
4

"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.

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Tue Jan 18 2022
4

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 .

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Sat Jan 29 2022
4

I liked it very much so

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Nisam ovom albumu dao previše pažnje prije, drago mi je da sad jesam.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

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.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Jebeni su svaki put. Četvorka jedino zato što su mi neki drugi njihovi draži albumi

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Tue Feb 08 2022
4

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.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

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

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Sat Mar 05 2022
4

Joy Division / Interpol lite but enjoyable enough.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
4

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.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

vibed to it

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

Good stuff and like the singer. The music was catchy

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Sat Mar 12 2022
4

Better than most other albums of this era, less whimsical and more muscular.

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Sat Mar 12 2022
4

Awesome

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Sun Mar 13 2022
4

Sounds really good. Still something modern but with instruments and singer, not too overly computerized music. I can listen to and enjoy this, but couldn't for example work listening to this. Sounds like 4 stars for now

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Tue Mar 15 2022
4

liked this. intresting mix of sounds

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Wed Apr 13 2022
4

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

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Fri Apr 22 2022
4

The album which got me into The National. I suspect, the album which got everyone into The National. Broody gothy romanticism.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
4

Now I love this band so its a challenge to be objective but here goes...It's a brilliant album of obtuse lyrics and hummable tunes....some of them heartbreakingly beautiful. Alligator and Boxer are often seen as their strongest albums but this one shows s lot of maturity. Brilliant stuff. 4.

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Tue May 03 2022
4

I don't listen to the National often, but enjoyed this album. They aren't super dynamic, but what they do they do it well. Bloodbuzz is obviously a standout, but also liked Anyone's Ghost and Conversation 16.

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Fri May 06 2022
4

I didn’t like the national when they came out but I’m 39.5 years old now and have come around

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Tue May 17 2022
4

Pretty good, mellow. Kind of same same indie though.

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Tue May 17 2022
4

Tough to critique but I just kinda like the sound of it and the way it creates a atmosphere with the instruments.

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Tue May 17 2022
4

Pleasantly surprised. While every song is essentially the same, it’s the atmosphere and ambience of the sound and production that makes this album intriguing.

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Tue May 17 2022
4

Best Song: Afraid of Everyone. In an album of excellent lyrics, this song still stands above the others. Worst Song: Can't say there was one. Everything was very cohesive, and each song felt like it belonged. Overall: Intoxicating. Between the deep and resonant vocals, the moody and melancholy lyrics, and the expansive instrumentation, the album feels very well-rounded.

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Tue May 24 2022
4

Nice sound. Enjoyed the uniqueness

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Mon May 30 2022
4

One of the great indie albums of 2010’s

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Wed Jun 15 2022
4

Quite a surprise. Pretty good album all told. Vocally it reminded me of The Swans. Will listen again.

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Fri Jun 17 2022
4

It's just a good easy listen

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Sat Jun 18 2022
4

Still a great, consistent album. Not sure it’s their “best” album, but definitely on the short list.

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Tue Jun 21 2022
4

Though there really aren't standout exceptional tracks for me, the sincere conversational tone and approach of these songs makes them easy to enjoy.

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Tue Jun 21 2022
4

They sound like the National. And that's the point. It's magnetic and inspired.

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Fri Jul 01 2022
4

The National have a way of turning every song into something layered and anthemic. The musicianship and instrumentation on this album is top notch. The vocal delivery is languid and intentional and when paired with backing vocals, is something really special. The biggest drawback of this album is the lack of variety. However, the album is very consistent and enjoyable throughout

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Mon Jul 04 2022
4

It was slow at first but, then, it began to open up. The National's High Violet continues the band's seamless path towards indie rock glory that began with Alligator as they churned out some of their most impassioned and revelatory performances. Songs that don't look like much at first glance would soon consume you and turn you inside out the more it advances towards the finish line and unveils its layers that it is capable of making. The expanded version of the album builds upon this as well, with extra tracks that flow from one to the next with seemingly no end. High Violet is deserving of high praise. Favorites: Anyone's Ghost, Afraid of Everyone, Bloodbuzz Ohio, Lemonworld, Conversation 16, England, Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks, Terrible Love (alternate version), Wake Up Your Saints, Sin-Eater.

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Wed Jul 06 2022
4

Like all good 4 star albums on this list from bands I am unfamiliar with, it grew on me as it progressed. By the end I was very excited to listen to more of their stuff. Love the Eddie Vedder-esque vocals.

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Tue Jul 12 2022
4

Had no knowledge of this artist before. They were enjoyable to listen to. Well done!

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Thu Jul 14 2022
4

I liked it. Heard a lot of the songs before.

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Sat Jul 16 2022
4

i actually really enjoyed this album! the national is a band that i wasn’t super familiar with before this album. this is going to make me listen to them more! highlights: anyone’s ghost, bloodbuzz ohio, conversation 16, england, terrible love (alternate version)

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Wed Jul 20 2022
4

I do like The National but the raw sadness of this was kind of a slog yesterday.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
4

Really enjoyed this indie rock album! Was what I look for in indie rock and was really relaxing and the singer has a great voice!

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Mon Jul 25 2022
4

Favorite song: England

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Sat Jul 30 2022
4

quite good!

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Mon Aug 01 2022
4

This guy has a fantastic voice. I didn't much care for the national in early college around the time this album came out and it's nice to discover you were wrong about something, especially when being wrong means experiencing something over 10 years old like it was new.

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Mon Aug 08 2022
4

That's so relieving to review something familiar after all these chaotic albums. I've been listening to High Violet for seven years. I love Berninger's desperate lyrics and voice. I can't say High Violet is my favourite National's album, I'm into Trouble Will Find Me, I'm Easy To Find - late ones. Anyway, I'm glad to see High Violet in this project!

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Fri Aug 12 2022
4

Not listened much before, but some real kickers. Terrible love, conversation 16, afraid of everyone ✨

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Mon Aug 15 2022
4

I'm honestly a bit disappointed with how low-energy it is, but it gets better and better with each listen as long as you don't keep your expectations too high (it's not the kind of album to grab you unless you want it to). I like the mellow, dark instruments reminiscent of post-punk and their indie rock contemporaries (e.g. Arcade Fire and Interpol but less flashy). It's clean and multi-layered, with plenty of things to pick out, without much necessarily grabbing your attention away from whatever you want to focus on. Their vocalist is unique, heavily inspired by Bruce Springsteen's mature yet expressive voice. Songs typically pay off, starting off light, perhaps with a hook but otherwise pretty simple, later building up to a grander sound. Pretty solid all around, hoping to fall in love with this record one day. Favorites: Anyone's Ghost, Bloodbuzz Ohio, Lemonworld, Conversation 16

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Tue Aug 16 2022
4

Pretty decent, always have enjoyed Bloodbuzz Ohio but found a few other good songs there

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Mon Aug 22 2022
4

The percussion on this was definitely something that drew me in and the male singer’s voice was mesmerizing.

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Sat Aug 27 2022
4

Slow, almost sombre indie. Really liked this album.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

Very good

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

Very moody, Arcade Fire feeling album. I liked listening to the whole thing.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

Listened to 9/1/22 4/5 Favorite song: I really love the National but this album had two alternating vibes and while both were good some of the song choices were not it

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Sun Sep 04 2022
4

Another modern band that I haven't heard about yet. It seems that it falls under the very unprecise category of indie rock, which if you're brave enough, you can classify there the vast majority of current bands. I think The National stands out, compared to other bands from the genre, through abilities and craftsmanship of Matt Beringer. He has a specific style of singing, with a long sequences of deep voice talking, and usually short melodic blurts. The music itself doesn't seem too original, although I would like to point out the keyboard/piano work, which actually elevates the songs to a deeper level. Beautiful melodies create a melancholic mist over the album, but the drums, and ocassionally bass, keeps you on your toes, with an upbeat tempo and a sense of urgency. Guitars seem to be written on this album as a fillers and additional help in elevating the atmosphere and send the message of the particular song. I think that the biggest stand out on the album is 'Terrible Love'. It is the best example of everything I have written in previous paragraph and of how well it works altogher as a song. Moving on, the level of the album stays even, in general 'High Violet' doesn't have any fillers or weaker points. Songs like 'Buzzsaw Ohio', 'England', 'Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks' have something unique, but at the same time fit into the mould of the album. I really like the atmosphere of the album, although it can be a little monotonne over the length of whole record. Nevertheless, I will gladly come back to this album in the future and check other positions in the 'The National' discography.

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Tue Sep 06 2022
4

Wasps 6 - 0 SHACK. SHACK really is a club in crisis.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
4

Listened before: no Enjoyed: yes Listens: 1 Unfortunately didn't get to listen to this as much as I'd have liked and my only listen wasn't in the same sitting. Looking forward to delving into this one a bit more this weekend

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

Very chill vibes, good background music

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Mon Sep 12 2022
4

I could give this album a 4 just for Bloodbuzz Ohio, but actually the whole album is really good. Sorrow, Anyone's Ghost, and Conversation 16 are some other stand-outs.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
4

Love the sound of The National. I’ve heard them before and I actually don’t quite understand why I don’t keep coming back to them. Whatever that reason is, it’s why I give this a 4 and not a 5.

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Tue Sep 20 2022
4

i enjoyed it. 7/10 fave tracks: little faith, sorrow

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Sat Sep 24 2022
4

Cool music, interesting lyrics, a cool experience all around but occasionally some of the tracks arent super engaging and don't really stand out.

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Sat Oct 01 2022
4

I don't really understand why this is on the list. It was pretty nice, easy listening though.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

I wasn't sure that I was going to like this album. The first couple of songs did not grab me. I am glad that I stuck with it because the rest of the album was quite good.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
4

Great album to stare out of the window to. At first I wasn't feeling it, but I started getting into it around the halfway mark. Solid album.

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Thu Oct 20 2022
4

Great stuff

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Mon Oct 24 2022
4

Cool vibe!

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Tue Oct 25 2022
4

Enjoyable. Would listen again

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

4 It dawned on me pretty early (roughly around the lyric "I don't wanna get over you" on Sorrow) that I was going to have to listen again, as this definitely isn't a "10 AM Friday morning with a cup of coffee playing quietly so to not wake up your guest sleeping in the living room" kind of album. So I put on again around 7 PM, and let me tell you, if you're not giving this album a nighttime listen when you're by yourself and can fully soak in everything it has to offer (perhaps with a moderate amount of vice of choice), you're doing it a disservice. I know "in the feels" kinds of albums aren't for everyone, but man I vibe with them like no other. If it's the kind of album you're listening to moments before sending an ex-girlfriend a drunk text you're gonna regret in the morning, it's probably something I'd like... not that I've ever done anything like that. Anyway, while it wasn't absolutely spectacular, I feel room for growth here, so I'll be listening again and checking out more of what The National has to offer. Favorite songs: Terrible Love, Sorrow, Afraid of Everyone, Bloodbuzz Ohio, Conversation 16

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Tue Nov 01 2022
4

I like the National and hadn't listened to this album before. It has a very subtle beauty and I can't say I managed to connect with many of the lyrics on first listen but my listened was very disjointed so I'm excited to keep listening again and I am confident this album will be a grower for me. Nice vibes hard to describe but it feels very cool and definitely un-fussy, makes me want to know more about the songs.

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Tue Nov 08 2022
4

Honestly it was pretty great, loved the sound and aesthetic, and original mood and production, while not standing out, helped blend the album's themes. Sometimes a bit forgettable but tbh I was definitely a fan. A great record.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
4

Just right for a certain mood.

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Tue Nov 15 2022
4

This is partly based on nostalgia, but I like this album, despite it being a little slow and mopey, and many songs having a very similar vibe

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Tue Nov 15 2022
4

I don’t think there was a certain aspect of this that really drew me in, but all the elements combined worked for me.

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Tue Nov 15 2022
4

Great vibes. Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks was an immediate favorite.

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Tue Nov 15 2022
4

Wondering if it was intentional or coincidence that The National followed Taylor Swift. I have been aware of this band since they came up but never gave them a proper listen until now. Boy have I been missing out. This is just the right mix of Americana and pop with an almost hidden reverence to the Smiths. I have spent the day listening to their back catalogue and was surprised by how many songs I recognised but attributed to other artists

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Sun Nov 20 2022
4

Soothing. Super listenable. A lot of songs sound similar.

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Wed Nov 23 2022
4

This is the first album by the National I heard and is still my favorite. Everything about their sound comes together perfectly.

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Mon Oct 05 2020
3

alright!

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Tue Jan 19 2021
3

A mix of talented vocals and interesting audio arrangements give a very enjoyable listen if a little modern for my tastes.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
3

Surprisingly great album to run to.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
3

@@@½. Nice indie rock.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
3

It's aight, 2.5 stars, but I'll be fair since I did want to add one song to a playlist.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
3

Solid background music, not what I'd normally listen to but it was decent enough.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
3

Great album from a band I haven't really sat down and listened to.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
3

Easy listen

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Mon Jan 18 2021
3

Perhaps it ain't too fair to the album since I wasn't listening very attentively but I found the album a little unexciting for my tastes.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
3

Mostly meh - but got quite good towards the end

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Wed Jan 27 2021
3

Good album but not my favorite by The National

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Fri Jan 15 2021
3

Singer's tone is monotonous. Songs all sound the same. Driving beat is a little too much. More acoustic instruments would lift the record up.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
3

First time diving into a full album. I dig lead singers voice and lyrics are interesting/different

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Tue Jan 26 2021
3

Nostalgiaaaaaaa

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Tue Feb 02 2021
3

I've never listened to this record before, just "Boxer." Though, I do know Bloodbuzz Ohio. I like this band, just haven't listened to them a ton.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
3

boff

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Mon Jan 18 2021
3

Rock blandito, moderno. Aburrido.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
3

First half was solid indie rock 4/5, second half was forgettable ballads 2/5.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
3

I enjoyed listening to this album, but I immediately forgot all of it as soon as I finished listening

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Thu Jan 21 2021
3

The vocals are too cool for me. They're kind of tired and mumbly. The songs are delivered as if getting excited or passionate about the message is not cool. To me the singing feels too contrived. The music belies the singing though. The accompaniment is edgy and pulses with energy - paired with the disinterested, indistinct singing, I guess that's what makes it cool.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
3

Not bad, mildly boring.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
3

An album of its time. I used to listen to a lot of this kind of thing and this is a good example of the genre.

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Thu Dec 23 2021
3

Sad white male

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Fri Dec 24 2021
3

Quite earnest singing. Some refreshing alt-rock. Mostly listenable and not too much is dull. Impressive drumming and some interesting bass lines.

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Tue Dec 28 2021
3

Arcade Fire meets Johnny Cash vocals and a bit of emo sensibilities.

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Mon Jan 03 2022
3

I do like The National, but I don't feel like this album is consistent. Bloodbuzz Ohio is an indie classic, unfortunately the rest of the tracks don't match the quality of this song though. Lyrics are on point for this song as well "I still owe money, to the money, to the money I owe" is basically a Millennial anthem, lol. I do like Runaway as well, I remember being very into this song when I was super depressed. And maybe that's how the National is best enjoyed. This is probably a 3.5.

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Mon Jan 03 2022
3

I get why some people like this band. I have always wanted to like them, but it's just so melodramatic and it's too much after two or three songs.

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Sat Jan 08 2022
3

The National is certainly an interesting band. They've established a unique style that is instantly recognizable. However, I'm not a big fan of the muffled sound and the vocal style. I like them in small doses. 3 stars.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
3

It's good. But I don't know. Feels kind of much of muchness.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
3

When I read that they played one song on repeat for several hours--and that the released the whole thing on vinyl--I prejudged that this would be pretentious as heck. Pleasantly surprised to be wrong, or at least it's also pretty darn good. Sounds great, stays interesting and varied. The singer seems effortlessly pretty. I had to work while listening, but this'll be an important candidate to return to.

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Thu Jan 13 2022
3

Had not heard of this band and had not heard any songs by them, so this is all brand-new to me. I like their sound. Kind of droning but not in a boring monotonous way. They play with precision, which creates a cool contrast for me with the semi-morose feel of the melody and vocals. Reminds me of several bands I liked in the 80s. Good album overall. Would listen to it again and would like to hear some of their other work.

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Sat Jan 15 2022
3

This album is not in my copy of the book. It's also not bad. Not something I'd seek out outside of this project - I'd say the production is too clean, it would benefit from being a little more lo-fi, a little more grungy - but it's much better than the inexplicably highly rated garbage album from Oasis I had to listen to yesterday.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
3

Ah, the Nationals. Notorious sad-boy-band of the modern era. I've enjoyed a lot of their work over the years, either together or when working with others, but none of the songs I know and love are on this project, so it was all new for me. I enjoyed it, it's not the kind of music that's hard to listen to, but not a whole lot stood out to me. When the Nationals don't blow me away, they're pretty nondescript. I'll walk away with a few tracks but I'd personally rather see Boxer or Trouble Will Find Me make this list. Still, a good album. Favorite tracks: Lemonworld, Sorrow, Bloodbuzz Ohio, Afraid of Everyone. Album art: The version shown on this website is strange, some kind of deluxe rerelease. The original isn't drastically different but I do think it's better. Colored smoke scribbles coming out of a smokestack, where this one isn't much to interpret. 3.5/5

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Thu Jan 20 2022
3

I've never been a huge fan of The National and this album stays within those boundaries. Very slow and melodic which was kind of nice but all the songs start to blend together as he shares his woes with us.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
3

Some good today songs

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Tue Feb 08 2022
3

This is a very good band with some high quality output. But you have to be in the mood for them though because Matt Berninger's deep baritone voice singing very melancholic songs for an entire album can wear on you after awhile. Personally I think their previous album Boxer was better but maybe High Violet is a grower and I need to listen to it more.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
3

Meh never really been a National fan. I appreciate what they do it's just not for me

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Thu Feb 10 2022
3

Pretty good!

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Sun Feb 13 2022
3

Pretty good, but nothing memorable.

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Mon Feb 14 2022
3

Too monotone for my liking

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Wed Feb 16 2022
3

Fav Song: Bloodbuzz Ohio

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Fri Feb 25 2022
3

I should like this, but somehow it sits the wrong side of the boring/interesting line for me

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Sat Feb 26 2022
3

Enjoyed it, did make me want to check out more of their stuff

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Fri Mar 04 2022
3

High Violet by The National (2010) These are songs that are brooding, melancholy, introspective, dark, and quite comfortable with sadness—the sort of feeling that is the effect of the world’s ubiquitous anxiety. There’s no frivolity, and the only happiness is found in a temporary and carefully limited escape (“Lemonworld”) from the angst factory of urban life. This my kind of music. Lyrically, there’s a stubborn attachment to the full experience of pain, disappointment, and the low feelings accompanying failed relationships, all set against a musical background that is richly elaborated with haunting choral vocals and keyboards/strings/horns orchestrations. One is reminded of the droning electronic colorings, heavy sustain, and slow chord progressions of U2. Brass choir with low woodwinds (“Runaway”, “Conversation 16”) never hit the anticipated strident and victorious highs. This has a halting effect. Bravo. The mix is heavy on drums, pulsing and resonant drums, with spare use of cymbals and snaring. The lead vocalist is refreshingly baritone. Rock music needs more of this. It’s somber, but it’s not a downer. It’s sorrowful, but it’s not depressing. It’s tenebrous, but it’s not hopeless. It’s why, as T.S. Eliot would reflect, “we call this Friday ‘Good’”. It’s honest mood music, best taken in small doses, but good medicine for the flippant soul. Listen to this record when you’re ready to stop being silly. 3/5

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Fri Mar 04 2022
3

Decent album, but I found its interest fading after each listen.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
3

I liked this album more than I expected to. Maybe it was the crooning of the vocals, or the instrumentation. But there was something about it that I really kind of dug. It was really appealing to me for some reason. Probably the vocals, being a lower-voiced singer myself. Conversation 16 had some interesting lyrics to it. I think the only song that didn't stand out to me was England. The problem was there wasn't one song that was catchy. I liked the band, but there wasn't a song I was humming afterward. They were good, but forgettable. That's never good for a band "hey what's the name of that album by that band...?"

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Wed Mar 09 2022
3

I’m having a hard time coalescing thoughts about this album. I like Berninger’s voice sometimes, but he doesn’t really sing. Other times I dislike it. I’m confused. At times, like Terrible Love, it feels like there is a lot going on in the music and it’s somehow disconnected from, or overshadowing, the vocals. I don’t know … 🤷‍♀️ The best summary I can give is that I liked Berninger’s vocals better on Chvrches’ My Enemy and that’s one of my three least favorite tracks on that album, which is by faaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrr my least favorite Chvrches album.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
3

When we listened to Pavement, I wrote "What is indie rock? Someone not signed to a major label? Today the term indie rock seems to have no meaning. It isn't exclusively used for independent label bands, and it doesn't refer to a specific musical style. I could tell you I like indie rock, but really that doesn't tell you much, and while I like many bands that would be classified as indie rock, I also dislike plenty of indie rock." I declared that Pavement was indie rock. In the 90s. But that indie rock today doesn't have much meaning in referring to a specific genre or musical style. That said, The National is probably as close to an indie style as you can find in the 2000s. It's not their labels (but those are independent), it's something about their sound. They're not alternative, or hard rock. They're actually indie. And they have been much buzzed about for nearly two decades now, with "Alligator" and "Boxer" and "High Violet" being a particularly strong run of critically acclaimed hits. And yet, I've never quite gotten into The National. I've never quite been able to put my finger on why, but I think most of it comes down to Matt Berninger's voice. It works ok on some songs, but I never love it, and more often I think it's too droning or something. It probably doesn't help that I generally have no idea what he's singing about. Most of the time I don't mind not understanding lyrics (whether because they're mumbled or just too obtusely poetic to bother with), but I think in those cases the voice has to be more pleasant or fitting with the music or akin to another instrument. But I rarely feel that with Berninger. The National definitely has their own very recognizable sound, consistent on all of their albums I've heard songs from. It just isn't quite my thing, despite being my thing-adjacent.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
3

Not too bad, enjoyed it.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
3

não é ruim mas é a cara dos hipster acéfalo da pitchfork

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Wed Mar 16 2022
3

I like runaway but the album as a whole is kinda bleh

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Tue Apr 05 2022
3

Good kickoff to the week. Very decent lyrically and musically

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Fri Apr 08 2022
3

High Violet is the fifth album by the indie rock band the National. The album received widespread critical acclaim at release. It was a carefully crafted, powerfully poetic, beautifully subtle album of rock music, that grows on you and leaves you wanting more. This album was listed on many "Best Albums" list for 2010, and in 2011 it was certified diamond for sales in all of Europe. I loved the subdued nature of the rock music on this album and enjoyed listening to it in its entirety. I realized I've heard the album's single "Bloodbuzz Ohio" before, because I immediately recognized the tune and lyrics. It's a great track on an epic album. I will be putting this band on my list so I can listen to their other albums.

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Tue Apr 19 2022
3

Yeah.

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Fri Apr 22 2022
3

Terrible Love is an interesting song to put in the 1 spot. Sorrow was a single I remember fondly. Im just not really into it.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
3

I do like the national. A lot, but i find sitting through an entire album quite hard work, whilst there is undoubtedly beauty within, and also a lightness of touch. it's a bleak listen.

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