High Violet is carefully considered without being labored, richly detailed without being fussy.
There isn't a bad song on the album, and generally when people say things like that they seem to imply that there are still a few duds here and there. But High Violet is literally free of weak moments.
It is a wild, vivid romance that The National make their own, and on High Violet it sounds just as striking, just as wild, just as vivid as ever.
High Violet isn’t simply The National’s best album; it’s already one of the strongest album of this young decade and will likely continue to be, even in another nine years from now.
If all of the band’s records had a loose thematic core running through to them, High Violet is the band’s most grown up record – mirroring the now late-30something group’s outlook on life.
The National’s latest is easily up there with the very best indie-rock records of the year.
They’ve taken some minor risks, tailored their sound, and emerged with a record that can stand confidently beside Boxer and Alligator, all without overdoing or losing any of its predecessors’ merits.
High Violet is the sound of a band taking a mandate to be a meaningful rock band seriously, and they play the part so fully that, to some, it may be off-putting.
Though High Violet lacks the front-to-back consistency that made Boxer such an unmitigated revelation, the new album’s peaks absolutely rival Boxer’s best tracks.
Crafted from humming guitars, tinkling pianos, militaristic drumming and occasional orchestration, their fifth album is beautifully subtle and grows in power with each listen.
Should I be so surprised that High Violet ... represents their most, self-serious, dour and morose release yet?
Muscular, miserable, mighty, and meandering, High Violet aims for the seats, but only hits about half of them.
High Violet is a fine album, a very, very solid effort that contains some marvelous storytelling and near perfect execution. There are no faults to speak of. But that electricity, that fly by the seat of your pants thrill is something that eludes The National.
|# 3 -||A.V. Club|
|# 4 -||Amazon|
|# 33 -||Clash|
|# 6 -||Consequence of Sound|
|# 1 -||DIY|
|# 2 -||Drowned in Sound|
|# 1 -||musicOMH|
|# 11 -||NME|
|# 4 -||No Ripcord|
|# 10 -||One Thirty BPM|
|# 11 -||Paste|
|# 28 -||Pitchfork|
|# 2 -||PopMatters|
|# 3 -||Prefix|
|# 1 -||Pretty Much Amazing|
|# 8 -||Q Magazine|
|# 2 -||Rhapsody SoundBoard|
|# 15 -||Rolling Stone|
|# 26 -||Spin|
|# 2 -||Spinner|
|# 5 -||Sputnikmusic|
|# 16 -||Stereogum|
|# 4 -||Time|
|# 34 -||Tiny Mix Tapes|
|# 14 -||Uncut|
|# 6 -||Under the Radar|
|# 14 -||Amazon (Mid Year)|
|# 1 -||AoTY 2010|
|# 31 -||NME (2010-2014)|
|# 465 -||NME Top 500 of All Time|
|# 2 -||NPR Listeners (Mid Year)|
|# 54 -||Pitchfork: The People's List|