Imagine, if you will, Nick Cave fronting an indie band because that's how The National sound here. Their guitars rattle and soar in a slightly menacing (though still radio friendly) fashion, but singer Matt Berninger delivers his vocals with an air of detached gravitas that suggests he would sound somewhat out of place on Top Of The Pops.
This track, a remixed version from the one that appears on their critically acclaimed 'Alligator' LP, builds up the tempo with some considered, cryptic verses replete with interesting lyrical imagery ("she wears her skirt like a flag") before rushing into an epic chorus of almost *U2* proportions.
The only problem is that in attempting to weld together these two seemingly incongruous styles, The National fall between two stools; while they're never going to bother the top ten à la Arctic Monkeys, they'll also find it difficult to convince cynics that they 'mean it.' The Bravery for manic depressives, anyone?
7Rob Webb's Score