AOTY 2019

I Am Easy to Find

The National - I Am Easy to Find
Critic Score
Based on 33 reviews
2019 Ratings: #234 / 604
Year End Rank: #37
User Score
Based on 513 ratings
2019 Ratings: #329
May 17, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
4AD / Label
Chamber Pop / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
A.V. Club
The National’s never been afraid to dial things down, but it’s rarely sounded as vulnerable as it does here—song after song, Dessner’s vibrant, moody arrangements serve to reflect Berninger’s precarious balance of hope and frustration.
100
The Skinny
The indie stalwarts' eighth full-length is a thrillingly ambitious, deeply collaborative game-changer.
95
Northern Transmissions

‘I Am Easy To Find’ is the sound of The National at their creative peak, with little sign to indicate they’re due to plateau anytime soon.

90
The Line of Best Fit

The nature of the project is in a way their own noble experiment, ultimately finding them at their boldest and most assured to date.

90
Exclaim!

I Am Easy to Find feels like a restart for a band in its 20th year. It might challenge some fans and may not ever grow on others, but more than anything, it proves that the National are not the band you thought they were. They're way more than that.

90
Paste

As has been the case upon nearly every release since Alligator, The National have put out another album that could easily be argued as their best—and it may be easier to make that claim now than ever before.

90
Spill Magazine

I Am Easy To Find is the sound of a band growing and expanding, taking a new direction to their music while retaining their essence.

85
Under The Radar

I Am Easy to Find is a National album like no other.

85
Earmilk

A 16-track album assembled like a film- a culmination of their signature sounds and more recent electronic experiments.

82
Sputnikmusic

Far from a downer ... I Am Easy To Find crackles with energy. This army of collaborators and Mike Mills’ oddball editing habits seem to have revitalized the band’s willingness to stretch themselves far more than the curated, self-conscious shifts of Sleep Well Beast.

80
Loud and Quiet

I Am Easy To Find ... sees the band paring their style down while simultaneously further exploring the grand, sacral sounds that have long lurked in their strings.

80
Slant Magazine

The National’s widest-ranging and most surprising effort to date.

80
DIY

There’s plenty here to push The National’s sound forwards and stave off stagnation.

80
NME
‘I Am Easy To Find’ is not a hit parade. It’s not a background record. It’s not something for cherry-pick streaming. It’s bigger than that. It’s The National opening up their world to everyone, and you should probably join them.
80
Clash

With new voices, new avenues of exploration and new lyrical viewpoints, The National, alongside producer-director Mike Mills, once again show their ability to reinvent themselves to produce something that is more than just an album.

80
FLOOD Magazine

With I Am Easy to Find, they stray outside the boundaries of anything they’ve done before.

80
Rolling Stone
Like the short movie, it doesn’t offer any morals or profound truths. Just beauty, and an invitation to savor it while you can.
80
No Ripcord

I Am Easy To Find resembles a closing-down sale, with ideas being thrown around whether they fit or not—even the inclusion of Rylan (first recorded during the High Violet sessions) comes across as a knowing nod.

80
The Guardian
It’s an album you can come away from unable to hum a single bar, but so captivating you want to return to it immediately.
80
American Songwriter

The National prove with I Am Easy To Find that they don’t need the old bang and clatter to achieve their signature melancholic glory.

80
PopMatters

The National's eighth album is not as easy to locate or to live with, as its title suggests, but it contains passages of sublime beauty and grace.

76
Pitchfork

With a cast of female vocalists guiding and redirecting the songs, the National’s eighth album is their largest, longest, and most daring.

70
musicOMH

With its 16 tracks clocking in at 63 minutes, it’s the band’s longest album to date and, despite a smattering of classy highlights, it feels laboured and cumbersome.

70
AllMusic

I Am Easy to Find has loose ends and picturesque detours in addition to a revolving cast of characters and a suggestion of mess that give the album an appealingly unkempt sense of humanity.

70
Spectrum Culture

Bolstered by the strongest back half The National have ever recorded, I Am Easy to Find is a much-needed rejoinder to the idea that the band has rested on their laurels, not a return to form but an indication that they are still open to exploring new ideas.

68
GIGsoup

After two decades, the ever-impressive Ohioans open their doors to allow a new perspective to take centre stage. The results are mixed but when they are good, they are rather great.

67
Consequence of Sound

The National had an incredible streak of great albums throughout the 2000s that propelled them to their current status as one of the biggest indie rock bands, and I Am Easy to Find is another solid addition to their catalog, even if it breaks that streak.

60
The Independent

I Am Easy to Find feels like an old friend you’re pleased to keep around – even if, had you been introduced today, you wonder if you’d have been compelled to make the effort.

60
The Telegraph

This is bold, weird, beautiful stuff, but the listener has their work cut out getting to it. Ironically, the core of I Am Easy to Find is not particularly easy to find. At all.

40
Dork

While it’s not a bad album, it is a dull and boring affair for them with the album lacking any real charisma.

40
The 405
Perhaps it was the ostentatious recording cycle, but this is The National playing at being The National, starting with skeletal rubrics of what they “should” sound like, and not bothering to go much further. They’ve been many things, but never complacently dull.
40
The Needle Drop

I Am Easy to Find returns to the dullness of The National's early 2010s output.

usedtobe
95
"And I will not come back the same."

A career spanning two decades and seven records in, the eight studio record from indie rock stars could be intimidating at first glance, clocking at 63 minutes and their longest record to date with a plethora of fine female vocalists, this new one could be one of their boldest, sweeping work to date. The inclusion of shifting perspectives and voices with the presence of Carin Besser, Berninger's writing partner and wife is keenly embedded ... read more
amygoodall
75
good
y'all just lame
ElectricMess
79
leave it to The National to lead with an upbeat single and then absolutely crush you with the full album

I Am Easy to Find is far and away the most ambitious National album to date. I don't just mean that in regards to its length, as it is easily one of the more adventurous sonically. When I heard that the record would be utilizing female vocalists, I figured that meant a handful of duets, but no, literally every song features them. This makes for a record that manages to be a nice change of ... read more
0xiela
NR
'quiet light' is for me the greatest moment in the national's latest release. although this album didn't appeal me as their previous work, tracks like 'you had your soul with me' and 'light years' were refreshing and its nice to know that they're already streaming in some radio stations here in portugal. overall their concept its beyond good, the cover arts are simply beautiful as for the album itself as for the singles and in general their song lyrics are touching and memorable - everything ... read more
Doofy
49
The awful combination of under developed, yet over-embellished.

The melodies, especially the chorus melodies, are uniformly dull - have they run out of song writing melody ideas? It would seem so.

Nice layering and a revolving cast of (oft ill-fitting?) female singers will do little to distract me in the long term.

Keepers? Quiet Light, Where is Her Head, Not in Kansas, Rylan

Disappointment of 2019.
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Track List

  1. You Had Your Soul With You
  2. Quiet Light
  3. Roman Holiday
  4. Oblivions
  5. The Pull of You
  6. Hey Rosey
  7. I Am Easy to Find
  8. Her Father in the Pool
  9. Where Is Her Head
  10. Not in Kansas
  11. So Far So Fast
  12. Dust Swirls in Strange Light
  13. Hairpin Turns
  14. Rylan
  15. Underwater
  16. Light Years
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Added on: March 5, 2019