Outside of "Diane Young" and it's fairly awkward track placement, I think the album is fucking flawless.
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3 - alt-J - Pageant
The new National album deserves nothing above a 6.9. It's time critics stop applauding them for giving listeners more of the same. At least with Vampire Weekend, they put more effort into the writing even though it keeps the same pace of sound on their earlier albums.
But this National album... I guess if you're the type who will love whatever they make, then you're probably disagreeing with me big time right now, but I personally got tired of the same ol' same ol' on High Violet and predicted I'd be totally indifferent to whatever came next, which I am.
Edit: It's also telling that a few of Pitchfork's veteran writers have tweeted out jokes about the new National material that leads me to believe their cool factor on there has lost its value. My personal opinion is the album doesn't warrant anything about a 7, but realistically, a score in the 7s or low 8s without a BNM is highly likely.
Last edited by kahaha; 05-13-2013 at 06:24 AM.
Simmer down, simmer down, we're all entitled to our own opinions and how much a rating an album is worth out of a 10.0 scale...
Totally not the same album at all.
I'm torn on the National thing. I completely agree with bmack on the point that you can't make the same album 4 times and it does seem like a fair argument to me, however, I really enjoy Trouble Will Find Me and think plenty of critics will end up arguing that it's their best album. But finding stylistic differences between it and even Boxer is somewhat tough. The melodies are certainly more varied with Pink Rabbits being one of the more unique National songs. I kind of chalk it up to incredibly gifted and intelligent dudes mastering their style and refining it. The songwriting, however similar it may be, is still of expert quality, arrangements, lyrics, and all. But I just can totally sympathize with the Beach House comparison, it does sound very similar.
Beach House and the National are both similar in that the palate they are working with is so specific and developed that things can start to sound samey and formulaic from album-to-album. I totally understand that criticism. However, I think the ultimate triumph of both bands is that the texture of their songs are so fussed over and detailed. Subsequent listens can show plenty of novelty as they work towards the perfection of the same set of ideas that they've been grappling with for years.
Just to clarify for those of you who only read briefly, I am saying that about Beach House. The National have not done that in my mind, as there are some decent differences between each of the last three albums in my mind. Haven't heard the new one yet.
The National write great songs, although they haven't expanded their sound too much from the get go but that's fine with me. I will always remember Matt sneaking me in 2005 because they played at this tiny bar in Philly and I wasn't 21 yet.
Oh, I misread what you wrote Bryan - my bad.
To be fair, the differences between Beach House's first and most recent albums are pretty noticeable. I won't deny that they've been resting on a singular sound for years now, but it's definitely theirs and theirs alone at this point amongst their musical peers.
Clearly. The specific nature of that sound has to be taken into account when making any judgment of quality. GWAR does their own thing too. For me, there are situations wherein a kind of "monosound" isn't enough to downplay the band wholesale. Both Beach House and The National are such cases for me. I'm not trying to offer a universal rule, but rather just an example of what affects my own listening.
*With regards to Bon Jovi.
I'm not sure who you are to judge or compare effort, unless you were in both studios during songwriting and recording sessions. In my opinion, The National are just a better band than Vampire Weekend, and much more talented. With or without the effort.
With the National, it's the same ol' sound and production. Hey Matt Berninger, we get it... You're a drunken mess always fucking up relationships with crazy women, but I don't want to hear you mumble about it anymore. Go sing about it to someone who hasn't heard the same sob story for the past 7 years.
After High Violet, it would have made sense if the the National pulled an Arcade Fire and went for the big festival/arena-packing sound which I wouldn't come down hard on, but instead they're giving us sleepy Boxer b-sides.
Last edited by kahaha; 05-13-2013 at 10:35 AM.
The stupidity is strong in this one.