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The National – 'Trouble Will Find Me' album review

The New Yorkers make a dark and sexy album that could unite their fans and their critics

The National – 'Trouble Will Find Me'

For many, The National’s recent performance at New York’s MoMA PS1 gallery confirmed their rightful status as Serious Art. For others, the experience of listening to the Brooklyn four-piece play the same track, ‘Sorrow’, for six hours on end would have been indistinguishable from the experience of… well, just listening to a National album. Their five previous LPs have perfected the glum, red-eyed alt rock dirge with existentialist lyrics and a tailoring bill to match its scotch tab. Addictive if you like a wallow; a slog if you value variety or silver in your clouds.

‘Trouble Will Find Me’ could be the album to unite both camps. It has all the stadium-filling darkness you’d expect from a recording begun in a blackout the day Hurricane Sandy hit. But the propulsive sing-along ‘Demons’, warmly dilapidated ballad ‘Slipped’ and slow-burning mantra ‘Humiliation’ are bigger, poppier yet still lugubriously sexier than any of the singles from 2010’s Brit-nominated ‘High Violet’. ‘Humiliation’’s line ‘all the LA women, fall asleep while swimming, I get paid to fish them out’ is a Twitter fiction gem worth your money, and your misery, alone.

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