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A&E

CD review: The National’s ‘Trouble Will Find Me’

Annie Zaleski

The Details

Three and a half stars
The National
Trouble Will Find Me

The National are so good at what they do—brooding indie rock shaded by subtle orchestral flourishes, thoughtful emotional dissections and frontman Matt Berninger’s velvety baritone—that it’s tough to find fault when the band’s records sound similar to one another. That’s certainly the case with Trouble Will Find Me, which overall is a mellower, more spacious version of its predecessor, 2010’s High Violet. Aggressive moments such as “Don’t Swallow the Cap,” which matches propulsive drums to prickly strings, and the tension-filled rocker “Graceless” are anomalies. Instead, Trouble Will Find Me focuses on manicured songs augmented by stately strings, faint piano and contributions from St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, Sharon Van Etten and Sufjan Stevens, among others. In the hands of most bands, this music would be a snoozefest, but the subtle propulsion of the album’s percussion and plenty of knotty, literate lyrics keep Trouble Will Find Me bewitching.

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