High Violet is the 5th album by the National. It comes out May 11 I believe, but there are some places you can stream it online, and it leaked this week, so you can go listen to it right now!
Now, since this is my first review for the site (Aphex Twin thing doesn't count) I'm gonna sort of clarify things. I'm not really gonna try and give it (a number)/(some number) or some number of stars out of a maximum number of stars (I don't know how to make stars on a keyboard), I'm just gonna give you my opinion of it. Maybe you'll have a totally different one, maybe we'll have the same opinion. Who knows! Anyway, let's get on with it.
I like this album a whole, whole lot. I'm not gonna lie, everytime I listen to it I just get so "stoked". It might be my favorite new 2010 album I've heard so far. It's a lot more reminiscent of their album Alligator than it is of Boxer and to me at least, that's definitely a good thing. It's got the intricacy of Boxer but the songs have a lot of the energy and feeling that was missing on Boxer I think. It's very gloomy though, which is to be expected, the National aren't really a band known for cheery, uplifting tunes. I think what drew me to them in the first place was his voice. It's quite deep, and he sort of slurs his words together (which maybe some people don't like (that's quite understandable) but I think it's great) and it ends up working out really well with the band.
High Violet starts out with "Terrible Love"which opens the album quite nicely I think. Sets the tone and mood for the rest of the album. After listening, you know it's gonna be gloomy, but, at the same time, somehow reassuring that everything will turn out alright. My favorite songs from the album are probably "Sorrow". "Bloodbuzz Ohio", "Runaway". and "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" (the album's spectacular closing track, wraps everything up really nicely). All the other songs are good/great, there aren't any that I don't like. The whole album flows really well together it's all really coherent and awesome. Even if you don't like the National, go give it a listen. I'll probably end up actually buying this album which says a lot about how much I like. Very, very excellent.
I can't find any songs to stream for you (since it's not released) so I'll leave ya with some of my favorite tracks by The National.