Sunday, December 5, 2010

Songs from 2010 - Part 7 - Sorrow

Do I take The National for granted? Is it their fault that High Violet didn't seduce me like Boxer? Did I have unreasonable expectations?

Yes, my friends, High Violet let me down. I expected a home run and got a triple. Understand, I listened to Boxer so much. I like Boxer more than I like a lot of you. Four of its tracks are in my iTunes top 25 playlist. I don't even want to get into iPod plays. Good fucking record.

The first two songs to go public from High Violet were "Runaway" and "Bloodbuzz Ohio." I got stoked. I replayed them over and over. I thought about ways in which I would use the lyrics in my online profiles. And then I developed too-high expectations for High Violet
The songs that came later are texturally rich ("Conversation 16"), immaculately paced ("Little Faith"), haunting ("Afraid of Everyone"), and triumphant ("Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks"). There are some weak tracks, too. Some lines in "Anyone's Ghost" are lame, and the allure of "Lemonworld" is lost on me. 

Mostly, I have positive things to say, as you can see. I think, for now, I'll let High Violet grow on me and become a part of The National's catalog on its own terms. I look forward to any new material the band releases; I look forward to High Violet being their second-to-newest album.

Here's "Sorrow." You know it. You love it. It reminds me of Boxer but with that sonic High Violet stamp. All of the things I really liked about High Violet (the drumming, the backing vocals that sound like whispers) are present, and some of the things I didn't like (lyrics repeated to death, namely) aren't. Get down with your sad self because sorrow found you when you were young.

Are any of y'all with me on this? 
Did you buy the double LP? Definitely my favorite piece of vinyl of 2010.
Still one of the best live acts going. Drink too much white wine and go see them.


miles said...

re. the vinyl,
i must've gotten a bad pressing or something.
this is the worst-sounding record i own.

John Wilmes said...

HV took the same arc for me, yes. I never listen to it in entirety.

Pat said...


Your story hits painfully close to home. My HV vinyl sounds fine, but every copy of Alligator I've ever heard, including mine, sounds like shit. Like it was pressed at the wrong speed, like it's playing underwater, etc. I can't believe 4AD let some HV copies out in that condition, though, given the record's hype.

Sarah Ann said...

so down for some white wine next time.