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Saturday, October 16, 2021

CD Review: High Violet

The National

High Violet

Record Label

Rating: 3

Brooklyn’s The National released their fifth album, High Violet, earlier this month to a deserved and unsurprising wave of critical acclaim. After all, High Violet might be just what you’d expect from the moody Brooklyn band – a depressing post-punk album for a rainy day, led by lead singer Matt Berninger’s iconic baritone. Just as in every previous release, Berninger’s mature Tom Waits-esque croon is just as captivating after multiple plays as it is after the first listen.

This isn’t to discount the production quality of High Violet in total, which particularly stands out through the instrumentation and driving bass line in “Little Faith.” Only Berninger’s lyrics themselves get lost in the final mix, brought to light only through Berninger’s on musicianship. It’s hard to imagine that anyone else could do the same.

Give these tracks a listen: “Little Faith,” “Conversation 16”

For fans of: The Hold Steady, Tom Waits

– Justin T. Ho

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