National - High Violet
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The National have taken over a decade and several albums to bring their mournful, elegiac anthems to a point where High Violet is the magnum opus that will make them stars. Crafted from humming guitars, tinkling pianos, militaristic drumming and occasional orchestration, their fifth album is beautifully subtle and grows in power with each listen. There's nothing so obvious as a rocker, but a selection of understated, troubled anthems hinge on Matt Berninger's mournful baritone and wonderfully diverse lyrics.
Heavyweight double vinyl pressed by 4AD. Gatefold sleeve.