Tuesday, June 4, 2013

When I Walk Into A Room, I Do Not Light It Up

The National's much-anticipated new album "Trouble Will Find Me" came out recently, and I haven't stopped listening. I've been using it as book-ends to other albums, playing it before and after throwing something else on.

I'm happily obsessing over it, and am not ashamed to say it. These things happen.

It's no secret that I'm an absolute freak for well-written lyrics (each blog post title is a nod to that vice), and The National never disappoints on that front. There's a unique wit to all of them, tied to the doom & gloom and poetry of the words. Part of me wants to print out these lyrics and frame them on my wall - but I'd be hard-pressed to decide which song.

I promised myself that I'd spare readers from seeing me get girly over Matt Berninger's voice. So I'll keep it as brief as possible and try not to giggle and squeal - aside from the swoon-worthiness of that damn voice, they've once again paired it with the instruments perfectly.  The voice is low, the lyrics are low, but the sound is upbeat enough to make you think you're in a bizarro happy depression. That's a skill I applaud, and probably one of the biggest reasons I dig this band. There's a guarded optimism.

So, back to the album itself - from "I Should Live In Salt" to "Hard To Find" (i.e. - front to back), it's a solid one. It's melodic, layered, yet accessible. It sets a mood that is somehow intimate and lovely, with a dark side once the the words and meaning hit you. I enjoy complicated music that almost seems simple, and this album is made up of just that.

I think it will be a favourite for a long time to come.

Note - the word "swoon-worthiness" should never be used again, ever. My apologies for including it here. I feel shame.

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