Captain Boring of the S.S. Shut Up
Find Me On:
Plus Local Natives, Caveman, Mount Moriah, and solid albums by Phoenix and Iron & Wine too. It’s been a crazy good year. Which is why I can’t get over the fact that this feels so much better than all of them.
It’s been a pretty fantastic year for new music. If all the of albums that have already come out so far were the sum total of 2013, it would probably still be the best year for music in a long time. And despite that, Trouble Will Find Me still feel like the best album of the year, and it doesn’t even feel very close.
Obviously there is some bias involved, because I love The National, but this album feels like a real accomplishment. It’s incredibly cohesive in terms of being an “album,” Matt voice has vastly improved in range and depth, the lyrics are very strong, and music is incredibly intricate and layered, without sounding fussy and overdone. Every time a song ends, I think that was probably the best song on the album, and then the next one starts, and every time the album ends, I want to start it again. I agree there is nothing particularly groundbreaking here in terms of “new sound,” but it feels like they’ve managed to release an album with the incredible cohesion of Boxer with some of the musical elements and textures of High Violet, which to me is the perfect formula.
Good God, this album!!! Tonally, it’s closer to Boxer, with a bit of High Violet influence, so for me, the perfect album. Heavenfaced and Humiliation are the two that stand out to me the most, though every song is incredibly strong. My gut tells me that when all is said and done, this album will blow HV out of the water, which is really saying something.
These videos are only one song each. Not sure if that’s a mistake or the blurb about watching the shows in full is…
Not that High Violet wasn’t cohesive, but I didn’t feel cohesive in the same way that Boxer was music wise, and so far, these two singles make me feel like this new one will be, which really excites me.
I don’t think I could come up with my 10 favorite National songs, but if I had to make the list for this site, this is probably how I’d do it:
10. Mistaken For Strangers
9. All The Wine
8. Afraid of Everyone
6. Conversation 16
5. Mr. November
4. Fake Empire
3. About Today
2. Apartment Story
1. Slow Show
Why would you use such an old picture from the band when you purposely left out that entire era of their music for this list?
I was shocked Slow Show wasn’t here. Or Apartment Story. And I also disagree with the notion that nothing from Alligator, Cherry Tree, or Sad Songs. I think it’s really hard to say with any sense of certainty what their 10 best songs are, but I always thought of these lists as the essential songs, and earlier records are important to their body of work as artists.
6. So is Cherry Tree
I just listened to the live performances of these songs. They do line up on the whiteboard. Lola has the words “I should live in salt” in the chorus, and Sullivan has the word “tunnelvision” in it’s chorus. They are both fantastic songs.
Or maybe the names on the left side that line up with the names on the right side are just alternate titles?
So “I Need My Girl” is the only one of the 5+ new songs they’ve been playing that made the album. Interesting. On their instagram, they put up a photo of a whiteboard and on one side were most of these tracks, and on the other side were songs all named for people, including Sullivan, Rylan, and Lola. I really liked all of those songs, so I hope we’ll end up hearing a lot of them. Either way, sooooo psyched for this album it’s crazy.
Haha, Iron & Wine joints…That’s a perfect way to describe his songs.
They definitely have similar signing voices. I’ll take it.
If Sam Beam is going to branch out from just him and an acoustic guitar, this seems like a waaay better direction than the 70′s funk from Kiss Each Other Clean. I’m digging this.
This is a fantastic song. The synth’s are much cleaner and more pronounced, and the instrumentation is a bit less queasy sounding overall than their first album. Between this and “Where’s The TIme” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A4h0oBAYVA), I have very high hopes for this album.
I think it’s pronounced “horny.”
Finally…A list with John Mayer on it!
Ugh, I really liked these guys. Hopefully this is just a new approach leading up to the new album like how they were super cryptic leading up to their first…
I went deep into the Elliott Smith rabbit hole once I saw the alternate Punch And Judy and have been listening to only Elliott since then. It’s always so great hearing new stuff.
The Antlers sounded fantastic. They get tighter and bigger sounding every time I see them. Port St. Willow had a cool vibe, but the sound for their set was a pretty muddled. Also, wow was it suffocatingly hot in there…
Binaural is when I went from casual fan to hardcore fan, so it hold a pretty special place in my heart, and if listening to songs like Slight of Hand and Of The Girl acoustically, especially in the pre-set to the last Boston show where they played all their songs really deepened my appreciation for the album. Also, songs like Grievance and Insignificance are great rockers that touch on politics before Eddie started shoving it down everyone’s throat. Though I will say that Evacuation is the worst song the band has ever written in my opinion, and it’s too hard for me to push to one of the top spots, but I still really love the album. Also, Yield is my favorite Pearl Jam album, so this list gets off to a pretty terrible start I think, but I respect your reasoning, and always love hearing people discuss Pearl Jam albums. Here is my list:
9. Riot Act
3. No Code
Congrats on your first Other Lives coverage! A bit more of a write up would have been nice, but I’m just glad to see them on here. They absolutely deserve the exposure. They are an incredible band.
There is absolutely nothing more deserved than Chris Brown getting his ass kicked by the guy dating the girl that he beat (in a rented Lamborghini). Incredible!
Wintersleep’s new album came out today. Sounds pretty good on first listen…