Feature

The National:Trouble Will Find Me

This subtle collection richly rewards the patient listener.

****

The National may work in a narrow range, but the melancholy Brooklyn-based rock quintet keeps “finding new wonders in that limited space,” said Josh Modell in the A.V. Club. Like their “uniformly excellent” previous three albums, this subtle collection richly rewards the patient listener. “At first it seems almost free of hooks,” but if you allow it several listens, it “burrows and then resides,” becoming nearly impossible to forget. Guitars, keyboards, and orchestral instruments again provide a lush, chugging backdrop to Matt Berninger’s “doleful baritone,” said Jon Pareles in The New York Times. But this time the drums and guitars have been more tightly leashed, ceding the spotlight to the songs’ “durable melodies,” lyrics full of regret, and “gradual but eventually overpowering buildups.” The band has thrown in a few odd meters this time, adding a “nervous undercurrent” to a handful of tracks. Even so, Trouble “purrs smoothly all the way through.” It’s the National’s “plushest, most burnished” album yet. “The music is poised, but it’s not hiding anything.”

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