Trouble Will Find Me

The National - Trouble Will Find Me
Critic Score
Based on 46 reviews
2013 Ratings: #28 / 1063
Year End Rank: #7
User Score
Based on 883 ratings
2013 Ratings: #26
Liked by 17 people
May 21, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
4AD / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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The Guardian

It's the subtlety, and the self-awareness, that make this album exquisite.

The Independent

These are songs which acknowledge how the lurking power of feelings can just as readily numb, or stun, as drive one to paroxysms of cathartic emoting, and that the quiet ones are often the ones to watch out for.

Pretty Much Amazing

A collection of remarkable songs by a group of musicians that compliment one another as well as any group over the last decade.

A.V. Club

Like the rest of the National catalog, Trouble Will Find Me is subtly insinuating; at first it seems almost free of hooks, then six listens later it’s difficult to get it unstuck. It burrows and then resides, first easy to forget then basically impossible.

The 405

It definitely sounds like an album by the National, but their latest set of songs is impeccably presented and delivered with the confidence of a band at their peak; a band who have figured themselves out.


While The National don't progress or indeed offer anything new to outstanding cynics, they instead rejoice in their strengths of detailing life and all its sorry baggage in the most beautiful of ways. 

Consequence of Sound

The end result is a new kind of National album — still dark and neurotic, obsessed with modern-day paranoia, but also bursting with an unlikely optimism and a very 2013 zest for life.


‘Trouble Will Find Me’ contains the same qualities that made 2005’s ‘Alligator’ and 2007’s ‘Boxer’ albums so vital and personal. This set of tracks will stand with their most masterful.

Spectrum Culture

The National maintains their modus operandi of zeroing in on individual alienation, the tales composing their sixth record standing as microcosmic examples of unfulfilled longing in a globalized, digital age.

Crack Magazine

Trouble Will Find Me is a nourishing, generous and nigh on flawless album.


The result evokes a tensile disaffection, something suppressed and never spoken. A deeply internalized album, it’s The National at their Nationalest.


Not much on this album is immediate, and that’s a little disappointing, but more than any other National work, Trouble Will Find Me hints at depths upon depths hidden beneath the surface of thirteen very pretty songs.

Beats Per Minute

Here, the National are yet again standing atop the mountain they conquered nearly a decade ago. Unpredictable it is not, but taken as a study of sound and mood, it’s kind of perfect.

Under The Radar

Overall, Trouble Will Find Me is another accomplished entry for a band that doesn't seem to know how to do anything else.


While the National never lacked confidence or craft, Trouble is an easily accessible and self-assured work, largely because it focuses on the visceral power of Berninger’s vocals and Bryan Devendorf’s inventive drumming.


Following in the footsteps 2009’s High Violet, it finds The National shouldering the weight of the world and nearly collapsing beneath it, but doing so with unmatched grace and a steady hand.


‘Trouble…’ is a collection of anthems, full of rich orchestral fanfares, bolstered by the cast and crew of New York’s finest.

The Line of Best Fit

While Berninger and co. may not have the party lit up like “a birthday candle in a circle of black girls” as they once did, there will always be people who’d rather throw off the corny dancing and talk intelligently for an hour or two.

American Songwriter

Trouble Will Find Me finds them maintaining the peak they reached with High Violet even when they trek out in new directions.

The Skinny

The journey to Trouble Will Find Me is arguably the least dramatic the band has made yet. It’s less ornate than High Violet, but more dense, instrumentally.


Trouble Will Find Me burns slowly, but melds together more seamlessly with each listen.

Time Out London

The propulsive sing-along ‘Demons’, warmly dilapidated ballad ‘Slipped’ and slow-burning mantra ‘Humiliation’ are bigger, poppier yet still lugubriously sexier than any of the singles from 2010’s Brit-nominated ‘High Violet’.

Rolling Stone

On much of Trouble Will Find Me as well, the terse phrases and single-tone exclamations of guitarists Bryce and Aaron Dessner hang around Berninger's baritone gravity like clouded starlight.


If you think you’ve outgrown them, you haven’t. Matt Berninger’s quandaries are not the sort that can be outgrown, they’re the sort that stalk you to the grave. That The National can wring beauty from these bleak inevitabilities is the reason that they matter.


Whether or not they've tried to become more radio-friendly is not clear, although it's evident that the National are very satisfied at being the National, which includes few pop elements.

Loud and Quiet

The album is consistently very good and the song writing consistently better, but that moment of soul-shifting emotion, that moment the National have been so adept at creating, is missing.


These songs instinctually shy away from grandstanding or big gestures; every time you think they’re headed for a fist-pumping chorus, they’ll veer off, or Berninger will shrug off the gravity with a lyrical clown move delivered in deadpan.

NOW Magazine

On Trouble Will Find Me, they've perfected it, knowing when a hook should explode and when to hold back and let Berninger's signature, sombre baritone take over.

God Is in the TV

Superb, sublime and even when it’s melancholy, it’s not drag-you-down depressing.

The Observer

Six albums down the line, the late developers have perfected their ruminative rock, the beauty of their intricate arrangements ensuring the end product never sounds pedestrian.

Entertainment Weekly

The result is a painstakingly composed batch of tracks that struggle to break free from their gorgeously constructed prisons.

Drowned in Sound

Such albums always reward persistence, and it may be that the consensus will eventually find favour with Trouble Will Find Me. For now though, as an album, as a piece of art, it’s beautifully painted but the colour palette needs to expand substantially.


For better or for worse, they perfected their sound the last time around, so it’s hard to fault them for sticking so close to the fire, especially on such a snowy night.


Trouble is a God-in-the-detail effort that features some of the National’s most intricate, meticulously crafted work to date, standing out with a deliberate stillness that makes you notice the barely made gestures and the small touches all the better.

Tiny Mix Tapes

They have laid down some astounding tracks here, but as a whole, the album is not on par with any full-length the band have released since Alligator.


Poised, cool, and impermeable, Trouble Will Find Me apotheosizes urban romance and its discontents, where conversations are monologues, parties are confessionals, and education and analysis are interchangeable.

No Ripcord

It’s difficult to complain when it sounds so good, and it’s easy to say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but eventually you have to play the game on “Hard,” even if that means falling short once or twice before you come through.

Slant Magazine

While Trouble Will Find Me remains well crafted and satisfying, there's something inherently stultifying about it as well.

The Needle Drop

The National comes through with yet another syrupy, impenetrable ode to life's most blasé moments.

poetic, calming, emotional, pretty, atmospheric, soft, stunning. <3
The National are one of the most consistent acts in terms of having a sound that works for them, one of which they rarely deviate from. However, the lush instrumentation of past feels almost soaring across Trouble Will Find Me, allowing The National to sound almost happy in their usual dreary tone.

Soaring in the sense that you feel uplifted by the melancholic feelings, soaring in the sense that even in times of dread and pain you can feel a sense of release. Trouble Will Find Me is that ... read more
Trouble Will Find Me greatest strength is the emotional driven lyrics and the depressing aspect of loneliness but how it manages to create a sombre and isolated soundscape with so little.

Track Review

I Should Live in Salt 10/10
Demons 8.5/10.
Don't Swallow the Cap 9.5/10
Fireproof 9/10
Sea of Love 8/10
Heavenfaced 8.5/10.
This is the Last Time 10/10
Graceless 9.5/10
Slipped 8/10
I Need My Girl 10/10
Humiliation 7.5/10.
Pink Rabbits 8.5/10.
Hard to Find 8/10

Average: 8.8/10
I always viewed The National as being too steeped in Melancholy to ever achieve mainstream success
Hence why they were loved critically but never made a dent on charts or end of year lists.

Trouble Will Find Me, is that album that forced a band into the spotlight, the melodies flame high over its vocals, allowing for a new sound for The National, that is the only noticeable difference here from other The National albums

Vocals are as they have always been, hushed by quiet words and humanely ... read more
The National's High Violet tends to affect me like a depressant, but in the end, it makes me feel better in a way that I don't understand. Trouble Will Find Me, while not as bleak as High Violet, has a similar affect. But where High Violet felt like a journey, TWFM feels more like a day of restless rest. After numerous listens, it sinks into the skull of the listener and remains there, like a comfortable headache. Beautiful and sad, hopeful and lonely. It's The National, through ... read more
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Added on: March 21, 2013