Artist: The National
Album: Trouble Will Find Me
Release Date: May 20th 2013 (iTunes)
Three years in the waiting, The National have finally released their 6th studio album Trouble Will Find Me. I only discovered the band with the release of their previous album High Violet and I immediately fell in love with the Ohioan band for their dark and melodic sound reminiscent of The Smiths or a more calm and withdrawn Afghan Whigs. Since then I have looked back through their catalogue to songs such as Forever After Days and Rest of Years from the Virginia EP, and 90 Mile Water Wall from The Cherry Tree. After all the homework I had done on The National, it’s safe to say that never have I found a band that could produce more calming and more poignant songs. The new album is much the same, able to create a sense of tranquility and yet to cast your psyche into reflection, it would be better to rename every album they’ve ever produced “Songs to Break Your Heart”.
Trouble Will Find Me, is full pleasing songs, but unfortunately there are some disappointments. I am a fan of this band, so it is a shame to say; but as The National progress and mature it appears more and more as though they are a one-trick-pony, deep-set into their sound and fail to deviate from it. If you like The National’s sound then you’re in luck, because Trouble Will Find Me provides the same sound you’ve heard on High Violet or even Boxer or Alligator. However, as much as I liked those albums, I like to hear evolution in a band’s music and some evidence of development and maturity, whereas all I hear in the new album is saturation.
Trouble Will Find Me is not all negatives, it has to be said.An album doesn’t reach number 3 in the UK albums chart and the Billboard 200 for nothing. As I have said, the album is a masterclass of The National’s sound and therefore serves to provide excellent examples as to why The National are so skilled with melodies and ambient atmospherics. Songs like This is the Last Time and Fireproof offer some catchy riffs and vocal melodies that remind you why you fell in love with them in the first place.
If you’d like to get an idea of the new album, you can hear one of the singles from Trouble Will Find Me – Don’t Swallow the Cap.
On the whole, Trouble Will Find Me is a great album for The National; melodic, mournful and full of hooks, full of all the things that we know and love about the band. However, if you’re looking for new material and development, then this is not the album for you, and serves only as an extension of their previous material.