Jump to content
colbourne25

PO: The National - Sleep Well Beast

Recommended Posts

I'm on my third listen of Sleep Well Beast, and I feel like the parts I don't like on this album currently outweigh the parts I enjoy.  There are definitely some fantastic songs, but at the album's end, I'm just remembering the parts I dislike, which tarnishes the record in retrospect.  

 

I absolutely adored Trouble Will Find Me, so this is coming as a pretty big disappointment to me.  I have hopes that with subsequent listens it will sink in and get better though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, thesewoodenideas said:

Seems to be some very divided opinions on this one. Particularly for those who loved TWFM. Whereas those who felt disappointed by TWFM seem to see it as a return to form. Opinions eh? I'm just happy to have another good album from these guys.

I feel like there has been unanimous praise for SWB, at least from critics and people I know in real life and with whom I have geeked out over this album. I was expecting more of a backlash, to be honest. The National are a band that get so much positive praise that they would serve as a great target for people who want to knock things down a peg and, even though they do it really well, adding a bunch of electronic sounds to your rock band is asking for strong critiques.

As far as the comparisons/contrasts to High Violet and TWFM, I think High Violet is their weakest post-Sad Songs album. There are some great songs on it but I think the band miscalculated on the arrangements and production on some tracks. It's the closest they've gotten to being a bit over-polished yet under-cooked. So, I'm glad that SWB shares little aesthetic with HV. TWFM is much better than HV, IMO, as it walked back some of HV's choices that would have been hard to sustain for them but it slightly suffers from being a lateral move sound-wise. It's an incredible guitar-based dad rock record that treads water. Conversely, SWB breaks into a new dynamic and feels more like a master stroke that matches the quality and subtle re-invention of the National's insane Alligator > Boxer breakthrough. You can say HV was a master stroke into a bigger, bolder arena rock sound and you'd be right but I was just not a fan of that choice so I am permanently omitting it from this long boring post.

TL;DR: I'm OK with SWB letting down people who consider HV/TWFM their favorite National albums. SWB is great and continues the subtle re-invention tradition of Alligator and Boxer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Derek™ said:

What parts are there to dislike on this album, out of curiosity?  I'm finding that it fluctuates between tracks that are incredible and tracks that are amazing.

I think for me it really is just Turtleneck that I dislike.  I know it returns them back to the days of Alligator and whatnot, but it just feels like it doesn't belong on this record.  The song seems disjointed and not well put together in my opinion.  And after the cohesiveness and general smoothness of Trouble Will Find Me, it's an unwelcome change in my mind.

 

But I'm sure other people really love that song, so.........Opinions eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, nick059 said:

I think for me it really is just Turtleneck that I dislike.  I know it returns them back to the days of Alligator and whatnot, but it just feels like it doesn't belong on this record.  The song seems disjointed and not well put together in my opinion.  And after the cohesiveness and general smoothness of Trouble Will Find Me, it's an unwelcome change in my mind.

 

But I'm sure other people really love that song, so.........Opinions eh?

I think, for people who love/hate/mildly have opinions about Turtleneck, placing it right in the middle was the smartest choice. I like the song and it functions as a nice intermission between both halves of the album. To be nitpicky, it fits in the least as far as the songwriting and production, so I won't begrudge anyone who dislikes it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, jrodan said:

fuck man. the more I listen to this, the more I love it. cannot wait to see them at the greek in Berkeley next month. will be my second time, and the first time in Barcelona was one of the top 5 shows I have ever seen in my life.

also, I like Turtleneck now. haha

National and Slowdive next month.  Let's gooooo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Managed to grab a copy on my way home from work. I'm really bummed out because I've been waiting since the announcement to finally sit down and listen to the whole thing. But I'm currently spinning side A on the white pressing and there's a very annoying scratching noise/really harsh surface noise throughout, only on the left channel. Most noticeable at the beginning of the first and second track. Tested various other records thinking it may have been dust on the needle or tracking force was off but it's only this record. 

Anyone else? 

On a side note, they (and Pentagram) really hit it out of the park in terms of packaging for this. The little debossed logo on each insert is a beautiful detail.

Edited by rabbitvinyl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I checked with one of my local shops about the 7" flexi and they said they saw nothing about any bonus or additional items being available when they ordered the blue indie exclusive copies. Does anyone know if they were offered by 4AD to specific shops or if certain distributors chose their favorite stores or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for Vinyl Collective. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×