The National - Trouble Will Find Me - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The National - Trouble Will Find Me

by Dan Clay Rating:8.5 Release Date:2013-05-20

Having delivered three of the most consistently high-quality albums of the last decade, Brooklyn's The National found themselves on a wave of both critical and commercial adulation following High Violet's stunning reception. They may have perfected the rousing anthem on the likes of 'England' and 'Sorrow', but early word and the release of the more sombre

meant their sixth album, Trouble Will Find Me, threatened to find the band in a spot of trouble themselves. Need we worry? Not at all. For though Trouble isn't the radio-friendly propulsion-to-stadia album many predicted it would be, that doesn't mean it's not a deeply personal, stunning follow-up.

So, while opener 'I Should Live in Salt' and 'Demons' showcase a slower sound, the perfect follow-up to High Violet's closing track 'Vanderlyle', the relative pace of 'Don't Swallow the Cap' moves Trouble up a gear, building on its rarely-used but soaring chorus. However, as with their last album, it's the middle stretch which really grabs the listener. While the mournful 'Fireproof', sung to Jennifer, can't fail to stir,

soon emerges as one of the band's finest songs, accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek video which deserves a watch. Building to a sweeping crescendo on waves, it's a high watermark for the album.

That the relatively sedate 'Heavenfaced' and 'This is the Last Time' follow shouldn't make the listener think the quality has dropped, with their surprising melodies which emerge in their third acts lifting both tracks. However, it's the stunning 'Graceless' which will leave the strongest impression. Building from a relatively simple pounding opening, it's the kind of euphoric blast of melancholy the band have undoubtedly made their own. "Put the flowers you find in a vase/ If you're dead in the mind it would brighten the place," sings Matt Berninger over one of drummer Bryan Devendorf and the band's strongest moments to date.

While this means the album's final tracks feel a touch slower as a result, the likes of 'Pink Rabbits' soaring waltz, 'Humiliation's drive and closing track 'Hard to Find's beautiful melody leave a sweet sound as Trouble draws to a close, with the latter emerging as the sort of track The National may not have had the confidence to make pre-Alligator. After this effort, you can be sure confidence will be no trouble from now on.

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