The National
Trouble Will Find Me


5.0
classic

Review

by YetAnotherBrick USER (28 Reviews)
June 6th, 2013 | 45 replies | 2,183 views


Release Date: 05/20/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nothing to see here, just The National churnin' out another timeless piece of art. They got this shit on lock.

13 of 13 thought this review was well written

The National can do no wrong. There, I said it. Now, before you roll your eyes at that clichéd, almost benign statement of praise, take a moment to remember who it is we’re talking about. When I say “The National can do no wrong,” I don’t mean it in a general, sweeping kind of way, like all of their music is of a high quality despite some missteps here and there. I mean that ever since Alligator, they literally haven’t made one misstep in any moments of any of their songs. They can do no wrong. I truly believe that they’re now a band with a process so precisely and thoroughly worked out, that even if something strikes you as out of place at first, it’s only a matter of time before you realize that it’s most certainly not out of place. It’s perfect. Again.

The National know how to walk the line. They know that the best way to follow a masterpiece is not only with another masterpiece, but one with a different atmosphere and different thematic elements than the predecessor. Trouble Will Find Me is a shining example of this idea. The National have never sounded this grandiose or bombastic. Opener ‘I Should Live In Salt’ echoes with an elegant hugeness that hits you in a strikingly different manner than many other National songs. But it still hits you, and the band knows that that’s what matters.

The band has also never sounded as careful as they do on ‘Fireproof,’ balancing a number of contradictory sentiments on the tip of one eerie, impeccable atmosphere. In the chorus, Berninger commends the song subject’s emotional endurance (“you’re fireproof/nothing breaks your heart”), and in the third verse, he slyly reminds the subject not to get ahead of themselves (“Jennifer, you are not the only one to sit awake ‘til the wild feelings leave you.”) The band also seems to have a newfound appreciation for elaboration, shown on many of the tracks, but most obviously on ‘Pink Rabbits.’ The last act of the song contains a number of different melodies that gradually get tacked on, but they’re all just as potent as the one that came before and it never gets to be too much. The song’s last lament, “You said it would be painless – a needle in a doll. You said it would be painless, it wasn’t that at all,” has a tingling, acidic sense of closure to it that makes it perfect for closing out the song. Although the band has never been this grandiose, they advance into that uncharted territory proudly (but not pretentiously) wielding their uncanny knack for building every song differently, but making them all seem completely natural. Completely right.

So The National has succeeded in satisfying with a new sound. But not every album can be Kid A. The band continues to tap dance on that line, and while creating new sounds and textures, also remembers to make use of why everyone fell in love with them in the first place: fresh, infectious melodies and unnervingly on-point lyricism. As they also were on Alligator, Boxer, and High Violet, Berninger’s words here are so precisely and purposefully put together that they tend to hit people hard while leaving no explanation as to how or why. In ‘Graceless,’ he really goes all-out with his self-deprecating, and invites you to shake hands with your own inner nihilist with the line “God loves everybody, don’t remind me.” This seeming contradiction seems to make more and more sense just by reading it over a few times. If God loves everybody, then what makes any one of us special? The number of words he rhymes with “graceless” without ever sounding forced or contrived is pretty impressive as well. Every line shimmers along with its respective melodies and textures, giving you the feeling that there has to be a reason he phrased that line like that, even if you don’t quite understand it yet.

The National have done it again. They’ve succeeded in making an album that sounds different enough to keep things interesting and not remind fans too much of past albums, but familiar enough to keep their identity intact. Trouble Will Find Me is just as much of a classic as Alligator, Boxer, and High Violet, because it meets all the same criteria, but in a different way. There’s abundant variation in how each song is built. Every melody perfectly matches its respective lyrics, and is potent enough to be memorable without reminding you too much of something you’ve heard before. The album is also perfectly paced; the tear-jerking trance induced by “Heavenfaced” is broken by the upbeat, but still morose (per the album’s unifying atmosphere) “This Is the Last Time,” and “Graceless” takes you further down the rabbit-hole. But most importantly, every song here is transcendent enough to resonate with anyone on levels most bands will never dream of reaching. If the album doesn’t hit you that hard yet, just listen to it some more. It’s The National. It’s only a matter of time.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
YetAnotherBrick
June 6th 2013



4390 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

my first National review, despite them being (probably) my favorite band. first review in a while actually, i forgot how much i love review-writing haha

parawhorez
June 6th 2013



206 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sooo glad you did a review for this. Post more! It's been awhile. Anyway, good read, I agree with pretty much everything so XD

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2013



5983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

nigga you need to come back people think oltnabrick is the real brick but he's just a poser you gotta show em what time it is

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2013



9998 Comments


Such a good review / reviewer, sigh

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

BigPleb
June 6th 2013



34023 Comments


How is this a 5?

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

tommygun
June 6th 2013



23571 Comments


nice rev pos

just curious why you use the word 'bombastic' in a way that implies it's a positive?

Digging: Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

TooLateToGoBack
June 6th 2013



1751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pos'd

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2013



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

almost benign? that statement is benign as hell

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

cinaedus
June 6th 2013



26298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

you're benign

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

tommygun
June 6th 2013



23571 Comments


whoa lakey how bout some respect for the best writer on the site

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2013



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

hey that's a compliment i am quite benign

cinaedus
June 6th 2013



26298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

luv u klap

tommygun
June 6th 2013



23571 Comments


lakes hav u recorded any new jams lately

cinaedus
June 6th 2013



26298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

https://soundcloud.com/lakes96/step-aside

YetAnotherBrick
June 6th 2013



4390 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"just curious why you use the word 'bombastic' in a way that implies it's a positive?"

it doesn't always have a negative connotation, i just meant it as a synonym for 'grandiose,' really

"How is this a 5?"

See that review up there? That might be a good place to look for an explanation. How is this a 2.5 is a much better question, I think

Thanks for all the pos's guise

tommygun
June 7th 2013



23571 Comments


ok interesting yeah i kind of understand it as a word for a big eloquent fancy talk way of saying something with little actual meaning behind it, which stood out to me cos it doesn't really fit with my interpretation of the album's lyrics

but i'm prob just nitpicking, this is a really nicely written piece

YetAnotherBrick
June 7th 2013



4390 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

usually when i hear the word i just think of big and fancy. an Iron Maiden show is definitely bombastic, but it's not pretentious or anything like that, yknow? and thanks a lot haha

tommygun
June 7th 2013



23571 Comments


yeah man i get ya!

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2013



15332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great great great review especially that opening paragraph

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

SharkEthic
June 7th 2013



577 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

who the fuck neg'd this (have a pos, great review)?



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