Trouble Will Find Me - The National
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. May 20, 2013
    70
    For better or for worse, they perfected their sound the last time around, so it’s hard to fault them for sticking so close to the fire, especially on such a snowy night.
  2. 80
    Progress may not be the right word for what The National achieves with Trouble Will Find Me, but sustained brilliance is a pretty good alternative.
  3. Jul 3, 2013
    89
    The National reveled in self-effacing jokes between the heaviness of their songs, and Trouble finally finds that balance on disc.
  4. Unpredictable it is not, but taken as a study of sound and mood, it’s kind of perfect.
  5. May 16, 2013
    81
    The National had reached a level of comfort very few indie rock acts achieve. That feeling of comfort permeates every part of their new album, Trouble Will Find Me.
  6. May 21, 2013
    90
    Trouble Will Find Me is the Brooklyn, N.Y., indie-rock band’s sixth and most deft album yet, a haunted and lugubrious meditation on loss and despair.
  7. May 14, 2013
    90
    This set of tracks will stand with their most masterful.
  8. May 24, 2013
    80
    On a superficial level, Trouble Will Find Me, the National’s latest full-length LP, probably won’t convert any listeners who’ve written off the band’s music as boring.... Of course, the power’s in the poetics, and Berninger concocts some truly heart-wrenching images this time around.
  9. May 30, 2013
    90
    Trouble Will Find Me is impeccably sequenced, even at thirteen songs the rare National record that doesn’t contain “the one song they should have obviously left off.”
  10. 90
    It’s approachable without compromise and confident enough to be itself, not another Alligator or High Violet, but unmistakably from the outset Trouble Will Find Me.
  11. 100
    The National are such a powerfully gifted band, they need no theatrics to deliver an absolutely stone-cold beast of an album. With the music that is on here there is yet another thirteen songs to savor and salivate over until the next batch of songs comes about.
  12. May 16, 2013
    90
    While The National don't progress or indeed offer anything new to outstanding cynics, they instead rejoice in their strengths of detailing life and all its sorry baggage in the most beautiful of ways.
  13. May 15, 2013
    70
    For now though, as an album, as a piece of art, it’s beautifully painted but the colour palette needs to expand substantially.
  14. 75
    The result is a painstakingly composed batch of tracks that struggle to break free from their gorgeously constructed prisons.
  15. May 17, 2013
    80
    Trouble Will Find Me burns slowly, but melds together more seamlessly with each listen.
  16. May 21, 2013
    63
    To the National's credit, its exploration of the dour has never been this subtle, but by never shifting the mood, the band has also never been this draining.
  17. Jun 18, 2013
    80
    It is, by any measure, a lovely, lovingly made record, its 13 tracks coming to enveloping climaxes via mystifyinng, electrifying turns of phrase. [No.99, p.51]
  18. May 20, 2013
    80
    They might shake, they might tremble, but The National remain a safe pair of hands. [Jun 2013, p.86]
  19. May 16, 2013
    80
    While catharsis never comes, there are glimpses of light coming through at the edges, and a sense of perfect order among the chaos.
  20. 80
    They have pulled off another album for the modern age, and its stories live in all of us.
  21. May 23, 2013
    70
    This is The National’s 4th or 5th comfortably strong album in a row, another slight variation on a tried-and-true theme.
  22. May 16, 2013
    80
    On Trouble Will Find Me, they’ve perfected it, knowing when a hook should explode and when to hold back and let Berninger’s signature, sombre baritone take over.
  23. May 21, 2013
    88
    A deeply internalized album, it’s The National at their Nationalest. It is, as well, a collection of songs about songs: clever but not meta, and thankfully never cute or self-impressed.
  24. May 21, 2013
    84
    As a culmination and refinement of everything the National have done over the past decade, Trouble Will Find Me couldn’t be granted a more fitting mission statement.
  25. May 21, 2013
    70
    An album that’s worthy of your admiration for its execution and vision, even if it doesn’t quite inspire the same visceral appeal that made the group’s unflinchingly intimate, first-person vignettes approachable and absorbing.
  26. 91
    A collection of remarkable songs by a group of musicians that compliment one another as well as any group over the last decade.
  27. 90
    There is a fantastic flow from upbeat, crescendoing rockers to gentle yet looming ballads.
  28. May 14, 2013
    60
    For a band who sing so often about matters of the heart and emotional connection, much of Trouble Will Find Me sounds oddly on autopilot. [Jun 2013, p.106]
  29. Jun 4, 2013
    80
    Trouble Will Find Me manages to pull off the impressive trick of finding the band at once at their most direct and musically inventive.
  30. May 16, 2013
    80
    The National are letting light and air into their shadows.
  31. May 17, 2013
    60
    So while Trouble Will Find Me remains well crafted and satisfying, there's something inherently stultifying about it as well.
  32. Jun 5, 2013
    70
    Poised, cool, and impermeable, Trouble Will Find Me apotheosizes urban romance and its discontents, where conversations are monologues, parties are confessionals, and education and analysis are interchangeable.
  33. May 22, 2013
    88
    Not much on this album is immediate, and that’s a little disappointing, but more than any other National work, Trouble Will Find Me hints at depths upon depths hidden beneath the surface of thirteen very pretty songs.
  34. May 21, 2013
    91
    Like the rest of the National catalog, Trouble Will Find Me is subtly insinuating; at first it seems almost free of hooks, then six listens later it’s difficult to get it unstuck.
  35. May 16, 2013
    100
    It's the subtlety, and the self-awareness, that make this album exquisite.
  36. 100
    The warm but haunting Trouble Will Find Me will surely cement their accession to the rock mainstream.
  37. The occasional off-kilter touch throws things sufficiently askew to deny listeners any complacency.
  38. 80
    The difference on Trouble Will Find Me is that everything feels clarified through a decade of wisdom, with volatility frequently superseded by sensibility.
  39. May 20, 2013
    80
    This time, the National utterly refuses to buttonhole listeners; the music calmly awaits attention, but amply repays it.
  40. May 20, 2013
    80
    The guests on Trouble Will Find Me are equally impressive (Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Van Etten), but the National, no question, are the real stars of the show.
  41. May 24, 2013
    90
    The National have arguably never struck that balance [between tenderness, optimism, humour and melodrama] quite as sweetly or persuasively as they do on Trouble Will Find Me, a layered, resoundingly human work that extends their winning streak without so much as breaking a sweat.
  42. May 21, 2013
    70
    They have laid down some astounding tracks here, but as a whole, the album is not on par with any full-length the band have released since Alligator.
  43. May 14, 2013
    80
    Perhaps for the first time, The National sound relaxed in their skin. [Jun 2013, p.77]
  44. May 21, 2013
    85
    Overall, Trouble Will Find Me is another accomplished entry for a band that doesn't seem to know how to do anything else.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 161 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. May 21, 2013
    10
    The National isn't changing their sound much. There are some differences, but their signature style is still in tact. That mans, of course, that this is also just as good as any album from The National. It's poignant, darkly humorous, sometimes just really bleak, and it's never afraid to totally rock your face clean off. While I can't say where this lies in The National's discography (arguably better than Boxer, maybe even High Violet), this is easily one of the best releases of 2013. Full Review »
  2. May 21, 2013
    3
    Another album full of laments of the most cliche parts of life, don't listen to this unless you love pitch-dropped pop songs (for you who don't understand metaphors: pop songs that have alternative music talking about depression) or a teenager desperate for love. If anything that is real critique on this album, this could've been easily called High Violet 2. I give it a 3 for the poor members remaining in the alcohol drenched grip of the manipulative singer. Full Review »
  3. May 21, 2013
    10
    Since the third listen to High Violet, I wanted this record—just like every fan of The National. With that kind of anticipation and expectation, most bands would probably stumble and produce something lackluster and just shy of good. The National has done something else entirely. They have soared. This is a beautiful record, with music and vocals to listen to again and again; it's nearly perfect. Don't think about the "grower" talk. This sounds great the first time. It's that it gets so MUCH better every time you listen to it after that. The ability to make music that touches you, then astounds you and finally weaves it's way into your life is not on commonly found. It's a special group that can do it, and The National are very special indeed. Full Review »