High Violet

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High Violet Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 267 Ratings

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  • Summary: The band and Peter Katis produced the Brooklyn-based rock quintet's fifth full-length album.

Top Track

Conversation 16
I think the kids are in trouble Do not know what all the troubles are for Give them ice for their fevers You're the only thing I ever want... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. The National should give faith to anyone who has become disillusioned with indie music, anyone who misses a time where it didn't seem like all the musicians thought they were better than you and you could actually relate to the damn words they were singing. High Violet is another batch of cement to further supplement The National's already unshakable concrete career.
  2. From its painstaking production to its dense lyrical constructs to its mammoth choruses, High Violet is likely to be one of the year's best.
  3. Its charms are subtle, its grip soft and easily shrugged by those who choose to pay it only passing attention. Live with it a while, though, and High Violet rewards patience with songs that colour one's waking existence, becoming vivid night-time narratives when curtains are drawn.
  4. Though High Violet lacks the front-to-back consistency that made Boxer such an unmitigated revelation, the new album's peaks absolutely rival Boxer's best tracks.
  5. Goddamn it's taken a while, but with 'High Violet' The National's slow and steady evolution can no longer be ignored. This lot are fully grown-up, coloured in and going overground.
  6. Uncut
    80
    At the peak moments of High Violet, The National are magnificent. [Jun 2010, p.78]
  7. Mojo
    60
    American indie cult heroes get a little noisier, a little more obscure [June 2010, p. 104]

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 63
  2. Negative: 2 out of 63
  1. May 21, 2011
    10
    A beautifully crafted, artistic, understated album. The National claim that they sometimes can change around a song up to 50 times, such isA beautifully crafted, artistic, understated album. The National claim that they sometimes can change around a song up to 50 times, such is their desire to perfect the music they make. It definitely shows on this album with subtle instrumentation blending together to form gorgeous melodies in which Mr Berningers haunting baritone vocals accompany. A small minority of people claim this album has been falsely hyped by hipster mags and music elitists but don't believe it for a second. This is often the problem when an album understates itself the way this does, people are too quick to toss it a side. Expand
  2. Apr 23, 2012
    10
    This is by far my favorite album of all time fir a numbah of reasons and the main one being it got me into nonradio music. I saw this as theThis is by far my favorite album of all time fir a numbah of reasons and the main one being it got me into nonradio music. I saw this as the number two spot on a rhapsody best albums of the year list and was intrigued and tried it out. Needless to say it blew me away! I had no idea music like this existed! The first track Terrible Love really got me hooked. I remember thinking okay this is interesting, and I like the song, but let's see what else we got hear. I then got to Sorrow which is where I really got interested, especialy with the lyrics. I then got to Anyone's Ghost which didn't really wow me like the previous two did but I still enjoyed it. I then I got to Little Faith which I thought had one of the coolest intros and I got this sort of flying feel to it and his opening verse pulled me back down. The lyric "I set a fire just to see what it kills" still stands today as one of my favorite. I then got to Afraid of Everyone which I kind of consider the low point of the album. It's not bad but it's my least favorite song and it comes before the five favorite songs. We then get to Bloodbuzz Ohio which is my favorite track on the album and certainly in my top ten favorite songs ever. The lyrics, the guitar, the piano, the everything! I enjoyed this song so much and I believe that Lemonworld, Runaway, Conversation 16, England, and Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks is one of the best five song successions in an album I've heard especially Vanderlyle just because it's an amazing ending to an album that equivalents to the tired ending of a concert.

    Overall I think this album is Perfect and it's one of the best in my opinion. Be sure to check out: Bloodbuzz Ohio, Sorrow, Little Faith, Runaway, and Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks if anything
    Expand
  3. VitoV.
    May 16, 2010
    10
    3rd masterpiece in a row.
  4. HappyEnchilada
    May 23, 2010
    10
    After the first couple listens I had this ranked behind Alligator and Boxer, but it's broken through to where I wouldn't argue with After the first couple listens I had this ranked behind Alligator and Boxer, but it's broken through to where I wouldn't argue with anyone calling it their best. Rather than rank it, though, I'm happier thinking of Alligator/Boxer/High Violet as equal components of a superb triple album. Highly recommended. Expand
  5. DK
    May 18, 2010
    9
    Better than Boxer, imo. Anyone's Ghost and Runaway don't measure up for me, but everything else is bloody brilliant.
  6. Nov 12, 2010
    9
    There really is nothing quite like this album. I mean, how often are there truly depressive albums? Albums that reach out and tear a soul outThere really is nothing quite like this album. I mean, how often are there truly depressive albums? Albums that reach out and tear a soul out for a bit? A tear legitimately rolled down my face the first time I heard this one--that's the physical manifestation of the majesty of this album. I still shiver when the guitars explode onto the scene during "Terrible Love", just as the goosebumps from Matt Berninger's harrowing voice die down.

    The band is a difficult one to fall in love with, which is the only true reason that this is getting negative rating. The only review attached to one of these expresses a state of virginity to this style of indie rock. This post-punk-fueled concentration. The first time I heard the National's Boxer, I felt the exact same way. Flat, boring, mumbling, and overly-pretentious garbage. Left no impact and no impact to be had existed. Clearly, though, that has changed. Give the band another chance. They're much more vibrant than you can immediately recognize.
    Expand
  7. Mar 16, 2011
    0
    Overrated indie band. Obscure music for sad emo hipsters does not make for good music. The music is mediocre. The hype for this band is awfulOverrated indie band. Obscure music for sad emo hipsters does not make for good music. The music is mediocre. The hype for this band is awful and pushed by cooler than thou hipsters all over the place. Expand

See all 63 User Reviews

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