Well, it’s quite the brouhaha lately re: High Violet, new LP from The National. & truthfully, it’s a friendly enough album with much to recommend it. I particularly enjoy the front-center placement of the drums in the mix while other, undifferentiated textures roil deep & dark beneath. I like the formless distortion noise that sometimes hovers throughout, seeping into every crevice. I have no objection to the cool detachment of Matt Berninger’s baritone, whose lyrics veer from anguished to absurd (“I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees” say what??).
Picture dark wood panel, leather & dim lighting. Brandy. A cigar, maybe.
In the end though, I am just not loving it. Much as I would like to. I think my objection is that it’s all too comfortable, too clean, too undangerous. Shouldn’t something this insistently dark have a least some bit of menace about it? I’ve waited in vain for that here, but High Violet is more than anything else very very pretty. I want to pinch its cheeks.
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