Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

The National, High Violet

The National's expertly crafted High Violet is sophisticated music for the slightly older rock set. The band members sing about dreary jobs, financial debt, girlfriends they no longer love and the kind of life that just gets you down. But they do it with such agonizingly beautiful melodies that you find yourself actively wanting to wallow with them. Singer Matt Berninger has one of those deep, tender baritones — like Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, only more depressed — that manages to make you wonder why anyone ever finds a reason to smile.