13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I haven't a lot to add to Gannon's excellent review here. This is a very good album by The National. Don't look for great surprises or radical shifts of direction - they carry on doing what they were already doing on High Violet and they do it very well - mournful, haunting and to me very beautiful songs, excellently sung and played in their distinctive style.
I'll spare you a lot of superfluous verbiage. It seems to me that the long and short of it is this: if you like The National's work so far then you'll love this. If you don't you won't. I most certainly do.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2013
I am a big fan of The National and after their excellent last album, High Violet, I was very excited that they were releasing yet another album. I had been listening to 'Demons' on BBC R6 for several weeks before its release and had pre-ordered this cd (which I rarely do these days). It's a fantastic album, takes a while to grow on you but when it has bedded into your brain its quite addictive and you will want more.... Loving it so far and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed their previous albums or fancies something new.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2015
...But. After an incredible and occasionally jaw-dropping output over the past decade or so, it feels to me that The National have stalled a little on this record, which is a huge shame. Putting it simply, singer Matt Berninger's usually profoundly observational lyrics get lost and under-used in the first few songs due to the foggy and muddy production of this record. Likewise the inventive and dizzying drum patterns as played by Bryan Devendorf. The first two tracks rely on a wonky time signature that, after five or so listens, becomes possible to follow, but then you realise it's wonky for the sake of making this record sound different to previous National releases. It kinda hints at an absence of ideas, which is a shame. However, midway through the album things start to pick up, and we feel like we're back in National-land - misery, isolation, needing - against a musical background of frenetic minor key guitars and psychotic, flailing drums, and then it dips away again, to beige nothingness. Until - 'Fireproof' comes on, and then you're transported back into the sad world of Matt's observational mind, where his hopefulness is quashed by minimal acoustic guitars and hidden violin, like the good old National we know and love.
But then in comes 'I Need My Girl' and we're in 'Cheery Tree'-era National - tragic, hopeless, but desperate, with beautiful delicate picked guitars and eerie synth, and minimal boomy floor tom drums. Not since The Cure's Robert Smith has a singer declared such fading uselesseness as Matt B in this song.
My main criticism of this album - and please bear in mind it's not an angry criticism - is that it's the sound of a band at the absolute peak of their global career, bigger than Arcade Fire, but under pressure to put out an album to fill a gap after their last album, when - if given another year - they might have produced something much more outstanding.
I love The National, and have for many years, but like many relationships it's hit a grey patch and I feel slightly cheated, like they're not paying full attention to my needs and are just giving me a hug because they feel like they should. Sadly, the hug doesn't feel sincere and that, ultimately, is what this album feels like.
40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2013
With each release by The National comes a certain weight of expectation that, with patience, what initially seems simple will give way to complex currents capable of engulfing you entirely. Now on their sixth LP of intelligent indie-rock, Trouble Will Find Me is no different in this regard, offering glorious reward in proportion to time invested once more.
Hats off to the Ohio-born, Brooklyn-based five-piece for not going stadium-sized too when it must occasionally be financially tempting to morph into U2 mode. Indeed, in places, the retiring Trouble Will Find Me is perhaps the opposite of what one might expect at this stage of their wonderful fourteen-year career. The stark power of teary stripped-back cuts such as "Slipped", for example, are just as striking as trademark moments of heavy-hearted rapture like "Graceless", during which Matt Berninger`s baritone stands firm against swooping torrents that race past with almost elemental inevitability.
The National are a precious band, one that already mean the world to some and with the lump-in-throat "I Need My Girl" they're only cementing this position. Its plucked strings fire off like welding sparks as, amidst a drizzle of ghostly harmonica, Berninger dictates the melody with tempo changes. And though this bittersweet anthem for the lovelorn has a straightforward message it delivers as massive and immovable a statement as erecting a granite monolith in driving rain.
That there's no seismic shift in direction is comforting, especially when one considers the large supporting cast which includes backing by the likes of St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten and Nona Marie Invie of Dark Dark Dark. Sufjan Stevens also contributes drum machine to a number of tracks, notably to the confessional first single "Demons" - part of a flawless opening five tracks during which the subtle epic "I Should Live In Salt" comes alive with the introduction of a low-end swell and the effortless beauty of "Fireproof" is allowed to shine via its diverse arrangement.
Second single "Don't Swallow The Cap" is a real standout too, its searching guitar line pitting its wits against dynamic drums, urgent string stabs and a take-home chorus that reads like a diary entry. Closing this impeccable quintet is "Sea Of Love" from which the album title comes as well as the LP's biggest blowout.
In such company and with a running order that lasts nearly an hour there are inevitably a few lesser peaks though they're sequenced wisely, the open spaces and clean guitar chimes of "Humiliation", for example, breaking up an oppressive tail-end. And despite, arguably, Trouble Will Find Me lacking an arms-wide avalanche to rival, say, "Bloodbuzz Ohio", it instead makes its case with timeless signatures of dignity and stealth that gather and swirl together as an unstoppable storm of emotion. Don't be surprised if you lose yourself to it completely.
Advised downloads: "I Need My Girl", "Graceless" and "Don't Swallow The Cap"
on 22 February 2015
When your last album hit the Top 10 in 11 different countries, you have a difficult act to follow. That's is the challenge facing The National with "Trouble Will Find Me", after their last album, 2010's "High Violet" achieved exactly that and as if further proof were needed that The National had gone mainstream, they were also asked to provide songs for television series "Game of Thrones" and "Boardwalk Empire", as well as video game "Portal 2". But The National are no flash-in-the-pan group that have suddenly have success thrust upon them, instead they have built up a following over many years and "Trouble Will Find Me" is their sixth full album, with a couple of EPs thrown in for good measure. The National have had time to enhance their skills and it certainly shows.
This is a tough album to type, as The National are placed generally in the indie-rock category, but there isn't a lot of the rock side of things here. They fit nicely into a sort of subdivision with Nick Cave and Joy Division with the mostly deep vocals and a quite dark feel, yet somehow the dark nature of some of the music and lyrics allow this to be an album that proves to be surprisingly relaxing. Indie-rock isn't generally a preferred genre of mine and I'm far more of a fan of upbeat and up tempo music, but despite my personal preferences, I found "Trouble Will Find Me" to be a consistently high quality album and it's certainly one that I will listen to over again when I need to set a relaxing mood. At 13 tracks and 55 minutes long, it's great value.
This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
on 13 August 2013
Without any shadows of doubt I can honestly say these guy's are amazing.
I consider myself a fan and recently reconsidered myself as a terrible one when I failed to realise there was a new release, 'Trouble will find me'.
Like a fat kid in a sweet shop I had a smile ear to ear, fingers clutched around a copy and almost body-popping in the queue with excitement.
I will have trouble finding anything 'negative' to comment on here, which may give the impression of being biased but I honestly can't.
Every track is a gem. You get your album where a dodgy track will have you skipping through sometimes but I didn't touch anything. I sat back, volume up and The National treated me to brilliant melancholy leaving a smile on my face.
I challenge you not to sing 'I need my girl' for a few days after hearing. I'm still having trouble and it's been two weeks.
Like an onion it has many layers and I'm discover each one, more and more, with every listen.
If you haven't listened to these guy's give them a go, your missing out. A very, very talented group of guys delivering some quality music and I can't wait for the next album.
What a band!
on 1 June 2013
This album got good reviews in several newspapers upon it's release so I thought I'd give it a listen, and what an album it is. The first two tracks feel quite dark and atmospheric, and that quite stripped back feeling seems to continue through the album. I've tried The National before, but we didn't hit it off. This album though is a fantastic offering, and one that means I now have to listen their back catalogue (by no means a bad thing).
I love the mood of the album, the stripped back feel is just sublime, and goes with the vocals and violins so well, and every track feels like it has it's own personality. The album never dips, as some albums do, and in fact the album ends as strongly as it starts. My favourite track after the first listen was Pink Rabbits, although I quite liked Humiliation as well (let me get back to that question).
This for me is one of the best album of the years so far, and will surely be in my top 10 of the year (if not top 5 or higher). I recommend any fans of alt rock to give this a shot sooner rather than later, as I'm sure you won't regret it.
In conclusion: a great album by a great band, now excuse me while I go and listen again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2014
Another of my five perfect albums of 2013. Longtime fan, since Alligator, but wasn't so keen on Boxer which I found a bit bland. This on the other hand is dark, mournful perfection. Don't know who Jenny is, but the singer is pretty upset about her and has been inspired to write much of this album about loss and death. Which is right up my alley! Pink Rabbits was my favourite tune of 2013.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2013
Alligator was the first record I heard by The National. A blinding album it is too. It hit me in a way no album had since my teens (then 27 now 33).
Whomever said "There should be no artists only their work" alive or dead would be a National fan.
This is music to be absorbed on good headphones, alone.
Intelligent, maladjusted people are let down by pop. The Smiths recorded angst and melancholy, The Wedding Present recorded a broken heart and, in my experience, The National are the only band to accurately represent depression. And I love them for it.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2013
i,ve been a fan since ALLIGATOR, and have all the other albums. I only found out that this was issued through Amazon,s site, as i purposefully don,t buy any music magazines, i,m 65 and have too many c.d,s most of which i don,t listen to!!!..I,m glad i did buy this little gem, as it,s easily their best work so far. I usually play a new c.d. once and then it goes into the pile to re- surface later on. This has had many plays already, and i consider it to be outstanding. There is a lot of additional orchestration, which enhances the songs, so reproducing the album live could be a problem, but it,s magnificent . As usual Matt Berninger,s mournful, world weary voice is the distinctive heart of the band, coupled with the usual off the wall lyrics...recommended