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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 January 2011
Its to my great shame that I have taken so long to find out about The National. This time last week my life was less enriched than it is now, thanks to this album, and it's sibling album "The Boxer" This is proper music, intelligent, articulate, multifaceted, emotional.....I have listened to the album 3 times now and with each play I'm further emerged in it. You continually discover new things, nuances, meanings of lyrics...its the gift that keeps on giving.

Buy this album, no ifs or buts....its truly a masterpiece!
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on 14 January 2011
The National have a very natural apparently uncontrived voice, when you listen to one of their albums it feels as if you are listening to music that has been made for its own sake. The style is laconic and is sometimes touching, sometimes quizzical, but all offerings are carefully crafted. High Violet has a coming of age feel to it, like shaking off a time or mood, and aspires to the big crowd anthem sound that should have been theirs before now. The highlights are 'terrible love' and 'bloodbuzz ohio' but every song has that photograph moment where it chimes with your own emotion or experience. It is a camera obscura of music. This album has the curious quality of being able to sit quietly through your headphones or blast out of your speakers and sound equally good. I would highly recommend this band and this album and think there is even better to come.
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on 22 April 2011
this album is just so amazing it will have you totally immersed in its enchantment the tracks all sound so good england runaway terrible love and sorrow are just so brilliant not a bad track on there as good as arcade fires suburbs just buy
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VINE VOICEon 14 August 2010
I'm probably one of the many people whom has only recently discovered The National, but this album has blown me away on a number of levels - the high quality of the songwriting, the overall production and as another reviewer has said, the ability to 'tingle arms'.

'England' was the first track which I heard from this album. It's the reason I watched them at Glastonbury, but at no point was I expecting to come away from that afternoon set a converted fan. As it is, I rushed out to purchase the limited purple double-vinyl set and have since purchased it also on CD for the car.

The first time I listened to it, I still wasn't sure; the first 4 or 5 songs didn't grab me like I thought they would but then 'Bloodbuzz Ohio' kicks in and it all seems to start making sense. Tracks 7 to 10 are incredible. I still love 'England', with the almost-perfect line 'You must be somewhere in London, you must be loving your life in the rain'. 'Lemonworld' isn't a songtitle which would have you running for the 'play' button, but believe me when I tell you that it's an amazing track. It's the kind of song which makes me want to fly to America, hire a convertible and drive across from Florida to California, listening to this song on the CD player. 'Conversation 16' is similarly stunning - I simply love the line "Now we'll leave the silver city 'cause all the silver girls gave us black dreams".

If this album doesn't appear in countless "albums of the year" at the end of 2010, then something's seriously wrong. 2010 has surprised (and surpassed) my expectations. After serious disappointment earlier in the year from the likes of Ellie Goulding's and Marina & The Diamonds' albums, 2010 has seen some seriously good releases - the Domino State's debut album 'Uneasy Lies The Crown', Serena-Maneesh's 'Abyss In B Minor', Exit Calm's eponymous debut - and now this.

This album is a fantastic listen. Definitely Recommended.
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on 10 September 2010
If I hadn't stumbled across an airing of 'Runaway' by tuning in to Radio 6 by mistake I would never have bought this album and my life would have been a little less complete. On first listening the tracks that stood out immediately, apart from 'Runaway', were 'Bloodbuzz Ohio', 'Lemonworld', and 'England'. But after three play-throughs every track has found a home somewhere in my head. The sombre lyrics are delivered amidst the most understated but powerful melodic landscape I have ever experienced. 'England' especially is one of those creations that come along only too rarely in a generation. The effect is set to live for a life-time with anyone who is tuned in to music that is closer to art than an art student. Genius.
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on 9 June 2016
The National just get better with each release. They mine a seam of melancholy that appeals more and more as I get older; perhaps it's the world weariness and sense of just having to put one foot in front of the other (in both life and their music) that reaches out and touches so many nerves. That said, the music has an elegiac and uplifting spirit about it that never fails to inspire.
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on 4 July 2010
Too many bands come and go ever so fast,but there are a small handfull that like good wine
just get better and better ie: bands like Elbow,Arcade fire...
In a world where subtlety is a forgotten word how endearing to have an album that not only is consistent
but deep in texture,a little sad,searching for hope and 100 per cent haunting....
If there were any justice then they would be reveared but instead they are just below the surface available to
anyone who is yearning for something rich and layered and is like me disenchanted with this shallow,stupid and
annoyingly ignorant and dumbed down world...9.5 out of 10...
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on 29 April 2012
This is my first album by the National and I will definitely be buying more. The songs are very thought-provoking and deep but it is also easy to listen to them while working and they won't distract. I have literally been listening to this on repeat for the past few days.
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on 13 May 2010
Alligator was brilliant, Boxer was possibly even better and now High Violet arrives with a huge amount of expectation weighing it down. Good news: it delivers, in spades. It's been a long time since I looked forward to a new album as much as this and I was worried that now that the National were definitely no longer indie's best kept secret they might have trouble maintaining their unique sound and yet developing as they took the next step.

No such worries - High Violet is both distinctively the National and yet bigger and bolder without losing their focus. Somehow it's both epic and intimate at the same time; songs swell but there's room to breathe in the intricate arrangements. Matt Berninger remains a tremendous lyricist - amusing, heartbreaking and poignant and wraps the songs up in a brilliant baritone with a unique delivery. The music holding it all together is uniformly excellent - big tunes but no showing off, and the songs grow with every listen to show their depths.

As with Boxer, there are no 'dips' - the quality remains high throughout and there are too many highlights to mention. At present Sorrow, Little Faith and Conversation 16 are the particular personal favourites but there's no need for a skip button here and every song has its share of the limelight.

It's hard to envisage there being a more rewarding record this year - last year's 'best' were a little underwhelming compared with the previous couple of years (Animal Collective?) but this sits alongside Bon Iver's For Emma and Feist's The Reminder as a remarkably consistent, surprising and moving album that will deliver on repeated listens.
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on 23 April 2010
Well just like Jonsi did a few weeks back, The National are giving us a sneak preview of their new album a few weeks before release just to whet our appetite. It's being streamed through via the New York Times if you get the chance - got to be worth it yes?. Well, I just couldn't wait. It seems a while since the last album 'Boxer' came out. In fact it was three years ago. Things move on in that time obviously. One thing is a constant though. The quality of this band's output. OK so 'Boxer' maybe didn't capture the heights of 'Alligator' but it was still a great record. I've been looking forward to this for a while....

Just on the first listen now so I'm writing this as I listen. Great so far. This stands comparison with anything they've done before. 'Sorrow' and 'Little Faith' for starters are as good as anything they've written before in my opinion. This is excellent stuff, really. Now listening to 'Afraid of Everyone'. Fabulous. The singing and lyrics and the emotion put over here are the stuff we've come to expect from Matt Berninger. This is excellent. This surpasses 'Boxer' on first listen alone. It's back to 'Alligator' for quality at least. After a few listens I reckon this may be even better than that. 'Runaway' is a fantastic song. This is seriously good. Look take my word for it, this is a must buy. Not a bad track on here. One of the best albums of the year goes without saying - and this is a good year for music (Joanna Newsom, Beach House, Jonsi - some great stuff out recently). But there won't be much better than this. I'd say that this is a contender for album of the year without doubt. One for putting on in the car, late at on a hot summer night when you have nowhere in particular to go but you just get that urge to drive through the night. Put it on and enjoy. (10/10)
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