THE NATIONAL make me AFRAID OF the thought that EVERYONE might not love High Violet

with my kid on my shoulders, i try not to hurt anybody i like

♫ The National – Afraid of Everyone

Every album by The National contains one or two songs that just grip me in an indescribable way. I still remember falling in love with “Apartment Story” and that song hasn’t lost an ounce of magic. “Bloodbuzz Ohio,”(below) The National’s first single from High Violet, hit my iTunes less than 2 months ago and has already become my most listened song of the year. It’s brilliant, sweeping, deep, and I can’t tell whether it speaks to me or for me. Second leak, “Afraid Of Everyone” (above) was initially nothing special but it was living in quite a shadow. So yeah, expectations were high when finally letting the rest of High Violet wash over me. I’ve been soaking in the album for a while now and am struggling to come up with anything negative to say about it. It is different from Boxer. Less energetic. Less driving. The band has toned things down slightly and while the vocals and perfectly simple rhythms are still there, the whole thing is a slightly mellower affair. What’s so interesting is that in the context of all 11 tracks “Afraid Of Everyone” has taken on a whole new significance. Any second-favorite is going to be distant to “Bloodbuzz Ohio” but this just may be it. The way those ‘ooohs’ weave in between that one distorted guitar line while the drums plod along creates a beautifully haunting backdrop to the story of a father struggling to sort himself out while protecting his family. But don’t get too wrapped up in the stories here. Instead, let the music inspire your own adventures and tales. This isn’t dance music. This isn’t rock music. This is life music.

Previously: ♫ The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

I’d write more about individual tracks but neither of us have all day. Just get the album.

Bury your face in MySpace /// eMusic too

4 replies
  1. j.ziegler
    j.ziegler says:

    In my opinion “High Violet” is their greatest album yet. Based on the (presumably) many hours of post-recording. Every sound on this album is amazing. Even if its a distant horn section just playing a few notes. Or as you Brandon, already pointed out “the way those ‘ooohs’ weave in between that one distorted guitar line while the drums plod along” – is just one of the many details that makes this album so great. The soundscape on “High Violet” is so impressive that listening to the album once simply isn't enough.

    This said, Boxer is still a groundbreaking indie-record, and most definitely worthy of all the hype going its way.

  2. jonathan_uk
    jonathan_uk says:

    Afraid Of Everyone has been my stand out track on this album since I started listening to it, great track from a great album.

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