One gets a different perspective on things when you move somewhere else. You start seeing your old world through different eyes, while at the same time viewing your new surrounding through the eyes of an outsider. If you want to remain an observer, always try to remain in this state. It’s the state from which Matt Berninger views his New York surroundings.
“High Violet” is very much an observation of New York and it’s people who struggle with universal themes like love, sorrow, faith, fear etc. Songs that are inhabited by drug addicted parents and soldiers. It’s about the moodier, more melancholy side of humankind. Is it dark? If anything it’s realistic.
Musically The National has not changed too much. Still that unique dark yet warming sound and Berninger’s soothing baritone. As always the drums drive the songs and add some of the melodies. A difference might be that the sound is slightly less polished as in the, for National standards, scruffy opener ‘Terrible Love’ but if you loved their sound before, you will still love it now.
While not reaching the artistic heights of “Alligator” and “Boxer”, this album is their “Only By The Night”. With it they will easily remain at the top of the indie-ladder and reach even more fans.