The National Grows on Everyone
With their odd turns of phrase, bone-dry delivery and chugging juxtaposition of drums-against-atmosphere, The National's albums are often called "growers." But they're accessible enough that they quickly became somewhat of a U2 for the recession, for disenfranchised indie kids working in Wall Street offices (as singer Matt Berninger once did), mistaken for strangers by their own friends. Their drab tones conceal downbeat pop as bright as The Chills or The Go-Betweens (see "Slipped," from the new Trouble Will Find Me) and battering, reluctant arena rock ("Bloodbuzz Ohio," an ode to the owed). From the sourly political "Fake Empire" to the sexy surge of "Secret Meeting" to the regal battalion "England," here's a selection of the best and most immediate tunes of The National's career.