The National
Trouble Will Find Me


4.5
superb

Review

by Sebastian Radzikowski USER (2 Reviews)
May 20th, 2013 | 85 replies


Release Date: 05/20/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lyrically, the most impeccable outing in the past decade. The album is beautiful, bleak, sublime and charming all at the same time.

Well, where do I start?

The National have always had a special place in my heart. Only just jumping on the bandwagon during High Violet's initial launch, I consider myself a huge (longish time) fan of Matt Berninger and his down-to-earth baritone voice. Now, I could simply go on about how much I love Trouble Will Find Me as National fan, because simply put, it has everything I want in an outing such as this; catchy yet thought-provoking hooks, subtle humour, daunting rhythms etc. But TWFM is so much better, TWFM is lyrically, the most impeccable outing in the past decade.

Berninger's heart-wrenching verses are what truly make TWFM shine. Over the first listen, many of his lines completely flew over me; it wasn't until repeated listens that I understood many of his sorrowful harmonies. Subtle lines such as "There's a science to walking through windows without you" and "It takes a lot of rain in the cup" represent a very mature, melancholic version of Berninger. It'd almost be too cliché to call this the most mature National album to date; however, Berninger, whilst always being sophisticated, has most certainly improved on his lyricism. TWFM beautifully finds a balance of sorrow and comfort, and while never being outright and excessively pessimistic, there's most definitely a sense of depression throughout; (probably from years of drinking).

Yet, throughout his gloomy lyricism, the rest of the band members still manage to back up his harmonies charmingly; this is what makes the album so accessible no matter what mood you're in. Man, how I missed those backup vocals on 'Sea of Love' that haven't been present since 'Secret Meeting' on Alligator.

TWFM also finds a great balance of High Violet's production and Alligator's melodies. Whilst TWFM is not as upbeat as the artist's previous outings, it still manages to be exciting throughout. As well as this, the addition of St. Vincent and Sufjan Stevens, (two dear favourites of mine) truly add a magical atmosphere to the album, while never detracting from the main artists. Annie Clark's vocals and Sufjan Steven's drums/synths beautiful enrich each National song they are present in.

Despite being fairly long at 55 minutes, The National manage to make every song on the album poetic and pleasing. Over the first listen, there may not be many hooks to grab your attention throughout the slowly-paced middle section of the album, and that may exempt many listeners from what is otherwise a rich album. My only other complaint would have to be the slow-burning outer, 'Hard to Find.' Whilst I do prefer a National closer that is slow paced (Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks, Gospel), over a fast paced one (Mr. November), I still think this song is quite weak as a closer, and sort of drags the album on for a little longer than it should. Whilst the song has most definitely grown on me, I still think the album works well enough ending on its best song, Pink Rabbits.

That being said, it's hard to press a 5 on this album, despite it being my favourite album of the year thus far. However, TWFM will always have a special place in my heart, no matter what score it receives. The album is beautiful, bleak, sublime and charming all at the same time. I dearly recommend TWFM to all National fans, and to all those whom favour the genre.

Favourite Tracks (Do I have to keep this to a minimum amount?):
Don't Swallow the Cap
Slipped
Pink Rabbits


user ratings (1079)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nrap
May 19th 2013


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

nice review. pos'd. i kind of agree, but i really don't find it up to the Boxer or Alligator standard. and i think its just short of HV.

i may move this to a 4. It is my second fav album so far this year after all.
I wish it had a little more energy at times


Sebinator
May 19th 2013


20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Nrap! Fixed.

Also, I've been using the site for a couple of years now, but I'm still confused what "pos" means. Also, this is my first review on this site, so any tips/points you'd like to make, please feel free to comment!

fromtheinside
May 19th 2013


18717 Comments


and so it begins

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2

NapalmCrusader
May 19th 2013


1737 Comments


Hearing this right now, will be a 4,5 or a 5

Skoj
May 19th 2013


1189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

4.5 now, might be 5 as time goes on. I Should Live in Salt packs the biggest lyrical punch, that whole song might be my
favorite they've ever written. This entire record is huge and brilliant.

I thought this would be the record they finally lose some momentum. Time will tell if it goes down as their magnum opus.

Digging: Pianos Become the Teeth - Keep You

Wildcatforever
May 20th 2013


441 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No way this is the best National album lyrically

Digging: Foxygen - ...And Star Power

TooLateToGoBack
May 20th 2013


1775 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Beautiful album.

Graceless is probably my favorite so far, but I'm surprised at just how much Demons grew on me. I enjoyed the track when it was first released, but it just got better and better the more listens I put in.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2013


21460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pink rabbits is definitely my favorite after a couple listens

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

BigPleb
May 20th 2013


37109 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can probably guarantee this is grossly overrated.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins on Io

NightProwler
May 20th 2013


6415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Leb, embrace it. Album is so damn good.

Very nice review, I enjoyed reading it!

Digging: RVIVR - The Beauty Between

Chrisjon89
May 20th 2013


3734 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pink Rabbits is my favourite too at the moment. And Humiliation and This Is The Last Time. I still don't like this as much as Boxer or High Violet yet.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Scoot
May 20th 2013


17816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

fantastic album

Ricochet
May 20th 2013


1795 Comments


i gotta buy this
hope its out in sweden

Artuma
May 20th 2013


14403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

really good review for a first, pos'd. album rules hard, def AOTY

Digging: Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

InfamousGrouse
May 20th 2013


3537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yeah, Pink Rabbits love. Been saying it for weeks now

Artuma
May 20th 2013


14403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i was a television version of a person with a broken heart

BigPleb
May 20th 2013


37109 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gonna give it a spin, then!

NightProwler
May 20th 2013


6415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeeeaaah. But I'd recommend Alligator instead, if you want something more rocking

InfamousGrouse
May 20th 2013


3537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so surprised you wanna dance with me now

Artuma
May 20th 2013


14403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

you always said i held you way too high off the ground



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