Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The National - High Violet: Tingle Central

Released in May 2010, High Violet is The National's fifth studio album, and has since gone silver in the UK. The album drags my mind joyfully back to the 80s (in an awesome Depeche Mode, INXS way; not a tragic Toni Basil, Culture Club way).
The first track, Terrible Love, sets the tone for 47 minutes of bliss. I tingled throughout the 11 tracks. Then I checked all the outlets and made sure I wasn't sitting on my cellphone and listened again - still tingling.
The warm baritone of Matt Berninger is both soothing and interesting and the melodic, cohesive backup supplied by Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Scott and Bryan Devendorf make for an individual yet nostalgic sound that you can easily listen to for hours.
Personally I enjoy them in the background as I lounge about in the pool accompanied by a large cocktail. Nothing says holiday chill like The National.
Although formed in Cincinnati, The National has reached greater success in the UK than the US, with their singles Terrible Love, Anyone's Ghost and, my personal favourite, Bloodbuzz Ohio. Lemonworld and Sorrow are both highlights on the album, with Lemonworld taking the Chris Isaak prize for Most 80s Flashbackness.
The National has received little play on SA radio, although their second album Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (2003) received a small nod. If High Violet is your introduction to The National, I have little doubt it will inspire a spate of back-buying. It is a band a person can be unashamedly loyal to.

For more on the band visit

No comments:

Post a Comment