High Violet, the new full-length record by the National, is a nervy, melodic, explosive and beautiful set of songs that find the band at the height of their collaborative powers. The music is wide-ranging in its moods, by turns intimate and rough, expansive and spare, full of stark angles and atmosphere. Berninger s singing wild, half-broken, sly evokes a feeling of being haunted, by love, by paranoia, by something just out of reach. High Violet may be The National s most thematically twisted record to date but it somehow also manages to be their most infectious and immediate.
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