Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

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"
1515 Comments| 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 June 2013
Have to sadly say that this is disappointing. I started out with Alligator which is rawer in sound, melodic and best of all has great melodies. Boxer was harder but revealed its beauty with repeated listens. High Violet's glossier production was initially a turn off but the fantastic songs made it a pinnacle of sorts. Trouble Will Find Me still has the great lyrics that we have come to expect from Matt Berninger but where are the melodies? It's all one long same paced dirge, and on first listen I couldn't wait for the whole thing to end as each song failed to ignite anything. I know that you have to wait for the National's songs to permeate or even percolate but I'm on six or seven times through now and still not much happening with the possible exception of I Need My Girl.
I do tend to feel that even my most favourite bands, of whom I consider The National to be at the top of my list, have a couple of great albums in them but after that they just run out of ideas or forget to write melodies. Ah well, I'll keep listening to this but I'm not too hopeful. Sorry.
1111 Comments| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 3 June 2013
This album is incredibly awful. Apart from having a nice cover, the album is very disappointing. Do not buy this.
66 Comments| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
Albums by those American flag-bearers The National should be viewed as distinct chapters of a much larger book which is still being written. There are no sharp ruptures between their records and each develops in its own way and pace after repeated plays contributing to a rock solid oeuvre of songs. In one sense, their nearest British equivalent would be Elbow. Simply put their records couldn't be by anyone else, you judge them on the strength of the songs and whether on the musical ledger book the majority of those pressed onto vinyl continue to be in the credit column.

"Trouble will find me" is by any standards the least rocking and most melancholic National album to date. If you love the National of "Mistaken for Strangers" or "Bloodbuzz Ohio" this album only partly plays to that constituency, alternatively if songs like "Daughter of the Soho Riots" or "Runaway" floats your boat a treat is in store. This reviewer will start with a couple of negatives since this album starts and falters. There is something about the repetitive lyric of opener "I should live in salt" and the almost looped lines of "You should know me better than that" which as yet to prove a great listening pleasure. Equally "Demons" sounds like so much like a "paint by numbers" a National song that it is almost a parody not least with Berninger's mournful lyric. Then thankfully by third song everything comes right and just gets better and better. The pounding "Don't swallow that cap" with its creeping melody and throaty Berninger vocal signals a step change. It's followed by the lovely acoustics of "Fireproof" with a shape-shifting band accompaniment and restrained singing plus the classic line "You tell me I'm waiting to find someone who isn't so hopeless - there's no-one." The familiar evocative baritone of Berninger is to be located on the powerful "Sea of Love" where yet again can be found proof that drummer Bryan Devendorf is the beating heart of the band. "Heavenfaced" is just sublime. Other songs like the complex "This is the last time" mutate into a great Sharon van Etten-featuring orchestral coda from a more conventional bluesy start. The solid "Graceless" sounds like it could have been happily located on "Alligator". More profound is the American beauty of the brilliant piano ballad "Slipped" where Berninger reflects "that I don't need any help to be breakable". The albums final quarter is easily the best part of the album and to this reviewer's ears includes three instant National classics. The sweet guitar coda on "I need a girl" leads into a tender vocal but images of people "losing it and driving cars into gardens" give it a darker edge. It will be one of those great National live anthems but if anything it is topped by the two final tracks. The superb piano-driven haunting lament of the album standout "Pink Rabbits" is a tale of lost love where the singer ruefully reflects "You were staring down the street cause you were trying not to crack up/Bona Drag was still on/Now I only think about Los Angeles when the sound kicks out". Finally, the album is rounded off by the epic "Hard to find" surely one of the great National songs in all its morose beauty.

"Trouble will find me" is a brooding beast of an album from the best American band this side of Wilco. The National are a band who now clearly understand their own inner DNA and have figured themselves out. They produce intelligent and emotionally weighty records which confirm the Dessner brothers amongst rocks finest composers. The Guardian recently commented about the band's​ progress that " what they have perfected, over the course of six albums, is a kind of glistening melancholy, a strangely beautiful dourness". These words are well written hence you must promise to listen to this album to find out what they mean.
22 Comments| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 23 May 2013
You can't really go wrong with The National. That's what makes waiting for a new album so exciting – no nerves, just anticipation. Trouble Will Find Me may not be my favourite National album, but it's still scores above any other new album I've heard in months.

For reference, if you've heard the rest: Trouble Will Find Me is more Alligator than High Violet, more Boxer than Sad Songs. There aren't near so many 'big' moments, and there are no real *rock* songs here, but all the poignancy we've come to expect is evident from the opening track onward.

Personal favourites are 'Slipped' and 'Hard to Find'; quiet, mumbling songs which showcase that beautiful, low, broken quality to Matt Berninger's voice perfectly. 'Slipped' is near flawless lyrically: 'I don't need any help to be breakable / believe me / I know nobody else who can laugh along to any kind of joke'.

Elsewhere there are some slightly contrived rhymes to be found, which is strange - I've never known that to be the case with any other National song, but here I found myself wincing in places. 'She's a griever / and I believe her / it's not a fever / it's a freezer' - 'Heavenfaced'. Ouch!

I guess as a writer myself I find lyrical clumsiness like that a little harder to forgive than most might, but on the whole it doesn't really detract from the experience. There are no songs here which I would rate lower than four and a half stars, at the very least, and most get a solid five.

Go on, then. Buy it!
22 Comments| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 June 2013
I have been a huge fan of the National for years, and couldnt wait for this album to be released.

High Violet is one of my all time fave albums of all time and i knew that it would be very hard to beat.

I had hopes that the National would step things up a gear and bring something out better than High Violet, unfortunately they have taken a step back.

This album is dull and boring.
33 Comments| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
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.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 22 May 2013
Just got the new album on vinyl, and it sounds quite good. Like most recordings it's a little compressed but nothing too major.

The pressing is good too, but on the last song on side three "I need my girl" ,
I'm not sure whether there's a defect in the pressing. It sounds like distortion as though the the vinyl is scuffed. Not a sharp click or pop, but it appears again at the same part of the record as the stylus reaches it.

I'm not sure if it's meant to be part of the song as the National have used distortion in the past.

Anyone else got the vinyl,if so do you experience the same noise?

22 Comments|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
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
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 October 2013
With 'Trouble Will Find' The National has restored my faith in modern bands and their music and inspired me to write this review. I had not come across The National before and my thanks to Amazon for suggesting this cd as one that might appeal to me. A quick listen to the 25 second grabs and a read of some the reviews convinced me that it was definitely worth a try. Absolute gold - the distinctive, versatile, melodic and sometimes melancholy voice of Matt Berninger is at times mesmerising and his combination with rest of the band is brilliant. There isn't a bad track on the album and I found myself listening to it over and over again. The lyrics are mostly great and many of the songs just keep playing in my head. I suspect that 'Trouble Will Find' may well be The Nationals best effort but this has not stopped me from ordering several of their earlier cds. Highly recommended, you won't be disappointed!!
11 Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)