Jump to content
lethalenforcer

PO Now: The National - I Am Easy To Find

Recommended Posts

It's wild how much I love this album, front to back, and how absolutely boring it is to everyone I know who isn't an existing National fan. I talked it up to a friend who is a casual appreciator of the National as being this new version of the band that is broken open and more spacious and experimental than ever and he was like "This sounds pretty much like the last album but like they wanted to make it about the vocals and they lost that fun energy."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, veggiecorecords said:

Gail Ann Dorsey. For some reason I get Ben Gibbard/Death Cab vibes when she comes in on "You Had Your Soul With You" 

 

"I have owed it to my heart, every word I've said
You have no idea how hard I died when you left"

Solid Bowie cover.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, iameasytofind said:

first time i saw the national was 2007 when they opened for Arcade Fire's Neon Bible tour. what a double bill if you look back at that now. i hadn't heard of the national at that time, but did download (illegally i must say) alligator at the time hoping i could enjoy the opening band a bit more, as I do in most shows.

i remember from mistaken for strangers, matt was recalling the early days of the band when they would be playing free shows in tiny clubs in the city and still nobody would show up. i'm so pleased that this band has come such a long way since through their craft.

 

There's the famous story of how they headlined a tour with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (during CYHSY's hype bubble period) and the crowds were large but they'd all leave after CYSH finished. So, eventually on that tour, the band switched places and opened for CYSH.

My first National show was around 2005 at the Troubadour in LA. Matt had the flu but it was still a good show. Baby Dayliner opened up for them. I had no idea that'd be the last time I could see them in a small venue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, lexicondevil said:

I will give it more listens. I think part of it is my current listening rotation is heavy on Bay Area thrash. I will probably come back to this in a month.

 

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of albums that have a lot of vocal guest spots. It's a strange thing that bothers me, like when I get a new hip hop album and I see all of the guests I just feel like I bought this to listen to the main artist, not all of these other people. I do like the sound of the singer on the first(and more?) track. I would probably buy an album by her.

I’m on my phone so I can’t edit the above  - but your last paragraph is exactly my thoughts on this album 

prbly the first LP from them I’ll never listen through fully after the first go around 

:(

Edited by hobbesthecat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Oblivions said:

It's wild how much I love this album, front to back, and how absolutely boring it is to everyone I know who isn't an existing National fan. I talked it up to a friend who is a casual appreciator of the National as being this new version of the band that is broken open and more spacious and experimental than ever and he was like "This sounds pretty much like the last album but like they wanted to make it about the vocals and they lost that fun energy."

I was fairly pleased with it on first listen but have really warmed up to it as a whole over the last week.  Tough to gauge the staying power, long-term, compared to everything else... but right now I’m pretty pleased.  Kansas maybe overstays its welcome just a smidgen, and some of the talkie parts in The Pull Of You  (“Do you hear me?  Just be here”) are corny as fuck even after a handful of listens.  But I’m liking the shape its taking.  Even the slow-burners I was sort of iffy on (Roman Holiday) have opened up for solid replay value.

Share this post


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

some of the talkie parts in The Pull Of You  (“Do you hear me?  Just be here”) are corny as fuck even after a handful of listens.

the one shouty part of The Pull of You saves that song IMO, it's also one of the only parts of the album that has that burst of energy the band is known for

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the best way to describe this record would be nuanced... I find that, every time I listen to it, I'm noticing little parts and arrangements that I hadn't noticed before, which I think maybe means this album was meant to be devoured rather than thrown on in the background. The lyrics, the vocals... I dunno. I really don't understand how people think this album is boring, but to each their own!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know music is subjective but I think, as a big fan of the band, if you don't think this album is better than their last two efforts, you're CRAZY.

 

There's no discernible filler on this record and the last two albums were about 1/3rd filler each. 

 

And I like every album they've done, of course. But still. I can't believe anyone would not be blown away by this release.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At it's most basic form music is repetition. "Growers" grow because there is less repetition in each individual song so building familiarity requires more effort. I guess I'm trying to say if you're invested in a band its probably in your best interest to listen to anything new more than twice or even 3 times before passing judgement. Not saying some of you haven't but even beginning to consider placing a brand new record somewhere on a list of their work over the past 10+ years this quick is kinda silly to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Sunshine said:

At it's most basic form music is repetition. "Growers" grow because there is less repetition in each individual song so building familiarity requires more effort. I guess I'm trying to say if you're invested in a band its probably in your best interest to listen to anything new more than twice or even 3 times before passing judgement. Not saying some of you haven't but even beginning to consider placing a brand new record somewhere on a list of their work over the past 10+ years this quick is kinda silly to me.

That's the thing though, this album (and the last) is extremely dense. Listening to/enjoying music shouldn't be a chore, and if The National wants to cram their releases with ambient noise and guest vocals than so be it. Not really fair to say anyone who prefers the older sound they fell in love with over the newer experimental stuff is doing the band a disservice of some sort. I've never said this record sucks, but the pacing and energy are extremely dull in my opinion and I'm not finding anything to latch onto after 7 listens or so. Could be a time and place thing on my part, but Sleep Well Beast never clicked for me either.

 

To each their own. I don't think anyone who loves this record is dumb or something, and I'm glad they've found enjoyment out of it. Wish I could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get why people might find the last two albums boring, even by National standards, but I think they're achieving what they're aiming for at a super high level. Matt pausing for an extra half-second between a compound word and then a sudden flourish of drumming followed by one of the twins slapping a guitar with a violin string for 3 seconds might sound like very sparse and dull music but it gives me as much of a rush as hearing 3 minutes straight of layered guitars and Matt yelling. It's like watching a stand up comedian who used to hump the stool and act out every joke, 10 years later with more experience and skill, standing still behind a mic stand and slaying a crowd with three words and a perfectly timed facial reaction. I like Alligator and Boxer but I'm really really glad that they didn't put out 5 more albums of guitar-focused rock at that same volume with more variations on the orchestral cacophony crescendo. IMO, SWB and IAETF have given the band another 10 years of quality career fuel if they want it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Shitty Rambo said:

That's the thing though, this album (and the last) is extremely dense. Listening to/enjoying music shouldn't be a chore, and if The National wants to cram their releases with ambient noise and guest vocals than so be it. Not really fair to say anyone who prefers the older sound they fell in love with over the newer experimental stuff is doing the band a disservice of some sort. I've never said this record sucks, but the pacing and energy are extremely dull in my opinion and I'm not finding anything to latch onto after 7 listens or so. Could be a time and place thing on my part, but Sleep Well Beast never clicked for me either.

 

To each their own. I don't think anyone who loves this record is dumb or something, and I'm glad they've found enjoyment out of it. Wish I could.

I get that, but feel like I just get more excited when a dense behemoth of a record finally clicks. There are certain records that I hated at first but kept listening because I like their older stuff and not every time but most of the time it usually pays off for me. There are also records that never clicked with me that are universally loved so yeah, different strokes. I haven't even listened to this yet I just felt like spewing the same thing I always do when a new record from a band I like is getting mixed feelings.

Share this post


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

Yeah this is good but it’s weak in their discography.

 

a lackluster national album is still way better than most albums though

I can only like this post once - kissing my phones screen is just making me look fucking weird. Good - look at me bus strangers...loooook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Oblivions said:

I get why people might find the last two albums boring, even by National standards, but I think they're achieving what they're aiming for at a super high level. Matt pausing for an extra half-second between a compound word and then a sudden flourish of drumming followed by one of the twins slapping a guitar with a violin string for 3 seconds might sound like very sparse and dull music but it gives me as much of a rush as hearing 3 minutes straight of layered guitars and Matt yelling. It's like watching a stand up comedian who used to hump the stool and act out every joke, 10 years later with more experience and skill, standing still behind a mic stand and slaying a crowd with three words and a perfectly timed facial reaction. I like Alligator and Boxer but I'm really really glad that they didn't put out 5 more albums of guitar-focused rock at that same volume with more variations on the orchestral cacophony crescendo. IMO, SWB and IAETF have given the band another 10 years of quality career fuel if they want it.

I understand what you're aiming for with the stand up comedy thing, but that's a pretty inaccurate comparison, especially with this band. Even when The National was, "layered guitars and Matt yelling," they were significantly more creative and progressive than other bands in their genre/scene. Hell, the earlier more rock focused stuff isn't even my favorite material by them, and let's be fair, this new experimental sound they've been leaning into for the last 2 albums certainly isn't the weirdest/most off-the-wall music that exists right now. There are pop artists doing similar, if not weirder, things in 2019.

 

Basically what I'm getting at is that loving this album doesn't put anyone at a higher echelon of taste or understanding of artistic integrity. This band has a vast catalog of music that varies significantly, different segments of that will stand out to different people and there ain't a damn thing wrong with that.

 

I will continue to try and find something special about this record. Hopefully I do. Gave it another listen at work but started half way through, @Kanye West must have a different version of this album than I do because I was immediately greeted with minutes of filler/electronic/atmospheric ambience. That's fine if that's you're thing, just not something I'd go out of my way to listen to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Shitty Rambo said:

I understand what you're aiming for with the stand up comedy thing, but that's a pretty inaccurate comparison, especially with this band. Even when The National was, "layered guitars and Matt yelling," they were significantly more creative and progressive than other bands in their genre/scene. Hell, the earlier more rock focused stuff isn't even my favorite material by them, and let's be fair, this new experimental sound they've been leaning into for the last 2 albums certainly isn't the weirdest/most off-the-wall music that exists right now. There are pop artists doing similar, if not weirder, things in 2019.

 

Basically what I'm getting at is that loving this album doesn't put anyone at a higher echelon of taste or understanding of artistic integrity. This band has a vast catalog of music that varies significantly, different segments of that will stand out to different people and there ain't a damn thing wrong with that.

 

I will continue to try and find something special about this record. Hopefully I do. Gave it another listen at work but started half way through, @Kanye West must have a different version of this album than I do because I was immediately greeted with minutes of filler/electronic/atmospheric ambience. That's fine if that's you're thing, just not something I'd go out of my way to listen to.

To be clear, with the standup thing, I was more referencing the effortful nature of everyone playing guitars and filling every second with action vs. the confidence of knowing you can be concise and powerful and use space and silence. Less a comment on the artistic quality and more on replacing energy and effort with skill and confidence.

 

I agree that it’s about personal taste/investment/interest and it’s not a matter of intelligence or being an enlightened listener. I know it’s technically boring and not the most immediately rewarding sound and I don’t think everyone should be forced to struggle with it until they give in. I wouldn’t want to be forced to listen to War on Drugs albums until I “get” why people love them. I’m cool taking them at their word. :)

Edited by Oblivions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Kanye West said:

I know music is subjective but I think, as a big fan of the band, if you don't think this album is better than their last two efforts, you're CRAZY.

 

There's no discernible filler on this record and the last two albums were about 1/3rd filler each. 

This has by FAR the most filler of any National album. Name one moment of filler on Trouble Will Find Me. That album is flawless. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×