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Top Ten Songs By The National


On May 20th The National will release Trouble Will Find Me, their sixth studio album in twelve years. I’ve heard it, and I find it disappointing. Much like High Violet, they’re moving further from the band I loved on their early albums. It started with Boxer, when they became the critics darling we know them to be today. They still write good songs, but I feel like they’re just repeating themselves now.

So instead of reviewing the new record, which I know everyone is going to pick up regardless of what I say, I figured I’d use today to remind myself how great The National can be. Here is my top ten songs from their career so far.

10. The Perfect Song

9. Secret Meeting

8. Runaway

7. Abel

6. Start A War

5. Anna Freud

4. Lucky You

3. Fake Empire

2. Mr. November (Ed. note: This is a video Kari shot when we saw them at First Ave in 2009. The audio isn’t perfect, but the end is worth it)

1. Slipping Husband

As always, feel free to add your own lists or tear mine to shreds in the comments section below.

  1. May 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I don’t think they’ll go back now. For me, though, the music’s always had the same kind of base and ethos to it.

    • May 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      That’s true. For me, the new record and the two before all sound pretty much the same. I just wish they would change it up a bit. That’s where Matt’s voice becomes a blessing and a curse-it works great for what they’re doing, but it can only go so far either way.

  2. May 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    What? No Slow Show? About Today? Bloodbuzz Ohio? Wasp’s Nest? Apartment Story? I could go on, but I won’t. Interesting, though, that they’re a band with which people can pick vastly different top tens. I blogged about them recently, maybe you’d like to take a look: http://franslater.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/my-bodyguard-shows-her-vulva/

    • May 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Checked out your list-no complaints. Blood Buzz would’ve been my next one if I didn’t stop at ten. With 5 full-lengths it’s easy for everyone to have a different favorite. That “Slipping Husband,” both the song and the specific performance I posted, is freaking amazing stuff.

      • May 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm

        Yeah, you’re not wrong. Great song. I don’t listen to the earlier stuff as much as I should; I was a latecomer, so almost the opposite to you.

      • May 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        It’ll be interesting to see what happens after the new record comes out. I’ve been hoping they’d go back to their roots with some folk/country-tinged tunes, but they seem happy with where they are. Will old fans tune out? I don’t know. I’ll still give every album a shot.

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