Got my hopes up then
Sorry bud, my bad
First listen take
It’s good. Feels a lot like Boxer with some warmer textures. Lovely opening and really love how it circles back on themes of marriage, not necessarily in peril, but coasting along and how sad that can be. A number of highlights including “The System Only Dreams” which I would say is top 10 National songs, the opener and “Walk It Back” which works a lot better in context of the LP.
Again, only a first listen so undoubtedly gonna grow on me but there’s nothing that’s really hit me in the same way as the high watermarks of their last two albums (other than perhaps “System…” which I absolutely adore (TWFM is their most underrated IMO). I kinda wish they’d pushed the gurgling electronics a bit more too. When they appear they’re really effective and I reckon there was room for more. Also, whilst quite pretty, “Dark Side Of The Gym” is a “Sleepwalk” rip that meanders along quite a bit.
Album highlights from The National always reveal themselves slowly, for me.
Here’s my HOT TAKE
I wish Turtleneck wasn’t on this album
I’m trying to avoid jumping to conclusions with this album…but TWFM took a while to get into…whereas this has immediately hit me with how good it is (or could be).
Good review Severed…though I take issue with the prevailing opinion of a band needing to “mix it up a little” when they’ve relied on the same formula for preceding albums. With a band like The National, I get enough enjoyment out of their basic modus operandi to not require changes to keep me interested…not every decent band needs to be Radiohead and if I need variety in my listening I just listen to more bands…
Luckily, as you cover in the review, it isn’t really a departure sound wise and the electronic elements just embellish the songs.
I agree, I put that in more just to cover a more general criticism of The National that is out there, I don’t neccesarily agree with it (though I do think TWFM is slightly weaker than the three before it. Only slightly though.)
Yeah, it’s pretty awful
Anyway besides,I also said that from the band’s p.o.v, they clearly felt the need to do something a bit different otherwise they’d just make the same record they have been for over a decade now. I know SWB isn’t quite as radical of a departure as it first seemed but there’s still a notable difference nonetheless
True, though sometimes I think a band gets bored of their sound much quicker than their fans do…I guess that’s down to constant touring etc.
Really looking forward to this tomorrow, gonna watch Mistaken For Strangers tonight I think.
Stupidly missed tickets for Edinburgh (thought I was seeing them in Paris) so if on the unlikely chance someone knows of any going, it would be amazing if you could let me know.
for sure, plus the desire to push self (if you still have that desire)
It is so weird. I hate almost everything about it, it’s entirely the type of music I dislike.
that song put me off a bit at first but given it’s an angry song about Trump/America (I think) I got into it
loving this album
i kinda slipped off them after Boxer - but this has brought me back in!
8.0 from them. So of the recent “big hitters” (AF, LCD, Grizzly Bear, TWOD) the War on Dugs have it.
Listened to this a couple of times since last night. Walk It Back is my early favourite. I’m also a sucker for news/interview samples on track outros.
On first impressions this is a lot better and more coherent in style and themes than TWFM. Early days though…