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Album Review
Trouble Will Find Me

Trouble Will Find Me
by The National


Review Date
5th June 2013
Reviewed by
Janine Harrison

Following up 2010’s critically and commercially acclaimed album High Violet, Trouble Will Find Me is alt rock underdogs The National’s sixth studio album, and what an album it is.

A few factors make this album feel remarkably confident; the bands’ collective insecurities that diminished with the success of High Violet, which in turn inspired new songs despite the band’s plan for a break from music and finally, that Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner had recently become parents. As Matt explained in a recent interview the move into fatherhood made them relax and appreciate the band wasn’t the be all and end all of everything.

Lead single 'Demons' is a subtle grower of a song. By the third listen, you appreciate this as the true act of genius it is; the hypnotic drumming, that crazy time signature and those almost too lazy vocals that come alive in the middle verse. Not many singers can get away with describing themselves as inconsequential but yet somehow Matt Berninger makes it sound convincing; his annoyance that even after all this time he still feels that “When I walk into a room I do not light it up.”

There’s something akin to Don Draper in Matt Berninger; he seems so confident in his dapper suits with his trim beard yet underneath there’s that vulnerability and broodiness. Take the lyrics to 'This is the last Time' - “I was thinking that you’d call somebody / Closer to you” or the proclamation “Oh but your love is such a swamp.”

Everything about The National is interesting. The music, the vocals and the lyrics, and fans of the band have nothing to fear; this album sounds like The National, but, as with every album before it, this one is bigger and better than the previous. Aaron and Bryce Dessner’s guitars and piano playing weaves effortlessly throughout the album, as Bryan Devendorf’s inventive drumming underpins the songs that his brother Scott provides expert percussion to.

Trouble Will Find Me finds The National pushing their boundaries further and showing their sense of adventure. The haunting outros, the unexpected breaks, the previously unexplored vocal range all marry nicely together to make this their most beautifully complex, yet sonically simplistic album yet.


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