The National’s last two albums have been wonderful for them. Those albums really established their fanbase that is today. Boxer’s 2007 release was overshadowed by the releases of In Rainbows, Strawberry Jam, Kala, †, and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. 2007 was a great year for music and Boxer might have put it over the top for me that year.
Their fifth studio album, High Violet follows up Boxer and is due for a May 10 release. “Terrible Love” is one of those attempts to lure you through a slow and ethereal beginning to a progressive, guitar driven peak all for the hope that you will be longing for more. This was not the feeling I got off of this opening track. “Sorrow” is a signature National track that would have been much more appreciated as an opening track. The album seems to take a turn for the better as you skip over “Little Faith” and go to “Afraid of Everyone”. This track doesn’t have much of National feel to it, but there’s a bit of a Killers sound to it that I noticed.
Then comes the single, “Bloodbuzz Ohio”, which was made available for download on the band’s website on March 24, 2010.This song is as promising of a National song as it gets. It’s got the best of Berninger’s classic baritone voice that resonates a melancholy timbre you casually find on Boxer.
“I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees/I’ll never marry but Ohio don’t remember me”
It took 19.8 minutes but I finally understand why people have penciled this down as their most anticipated album of 2010. This record really is sounding more and more like the perfect balance between the anthemic moments found on Alligator and the more introspective Boxer. Tracks like “Runaway” and “Conversation 16” make the finish to this album much more forgiving for tracks like “England” and, the not-so-bad-yet-terrible, “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks”
01. Terrible Love – 4:40
02. Sorrow – 3:25
03. Anyone’s Ghost – 2:54
04. Little Faith – 4:37
05. Afraid of Everyone – 4:19
06. Bloodbuzz Ohio – 4:36
07. Lemonworld – 3:24
08. Runaway – 5:34
09. Conversation 16 – 4:19
10. England – 5:40
11. Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks – 4:12