Beamed in from New York via Ohio, The National, as demonstrated by two previous albums 'The National' and 'Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers', make the kind of magical, music that sounds like it was invented purely for the purpose of wallowing in wonderful, selfish misery. It can be a cold, unfeeling place but awesome new single 'Abel' is about to change all that.
'Abel', taken from forthcoming album 'Alligator' is essentially Johnny Cash singing with The Bad Seeds and there can be no higher praise then that. Yet, we'll praise it some more, not only because it sounds so damn good but also because it boasts a New Order style bass line which makes it forlorn yet funky all at once. Neat trick. See, listening to The National is akin to riding an emotional rollercoaster as 'Driver, Surprise Me' so wonderfully demonstrates, a bittersweet three minute twenty second tale of love and loss blessed - if that's the word - by a heartbroken sounding Matt Berninger. Plus, it boasts arguably one of the year's best opening lines: 'Put the pervert in a suit / Take him out and light him up'. Blimey!
Two brilliant songs and the added attraction of 'Keep It Upstairs', a perfect slice of dream pop, and on vinyl, a song called 'Warm Singing Whores' - and let's face it we've all had a few of them haven't we? Boom, and indeed, boom, boom. The National then are back, back, back but this time with feeling.
9Anthony Gibbons's Score