Albums to watch

High Violet

The National

High Violet

Album number five of passionate indie rock from the Brooklyn band

ADM rating[?]


UK Release date
  1. 10.0 |   The Skinny

    Bloodbuzz Ohio is ... the moment when High Violet makes another of those near-imperceptible shifts, this time taking their fifth album from fan-satisfier to classic
    Read Review

  2. 10.0 |   The Times

    Few bands can create an album of such mournful beauty while sounding so comfortable in their own skin
    Read Review

  3. 10.0 |   The Sunday Times

    This is what music must do, this is what music means. Anything else is froth. A masterpiece
    Read Review

  4. 10.0 |   Eye Weekly

    This is exactly how you follow up one of the best albums of the last decade
    Read Review

  5. 10.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    The songs themselves are the highlights in an album that separates itself from Boxer and Alligator while still embracing that those albums made it what it is
    Read Review

  6. 10.0 |   A.V. Club

    High Violet is carefully considered without being labored, richly detailed without being fussy
    Read Review

  7. 9.0 |   Slant Magazine

    High Violet is an expertly handled balancing of the airy and the dense, and nowhere is that better exemplified than on the triumphant "England"
    Read Review

  8. 9.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    They’ve taken some minor risks, tailored their sound, and emerged with a record that can stand confidently beside Boxer and Alligator, all without overdoing or losing any of its predecessors’ merits
    Read Review

  9. 9.0 |   FasterLouder

    The National prove their aptitude for creating brooding masterpieces – High Violet takes that a step further with an album that uses an intelligent spectrum of sounds to tell stories that will leave an indelible mark on your psyche
    Read Review

  10. 9.0 |   Prefix

    High Violet is one of those rare albums where a band’s rising profile and rising talent meet in a perfect storm of anticipation and excellence
    Read Review

  11. 9.0 |   No Ripcord

    The National’s latest is easily up there with the very best indie-rock records of the yea
    Read Review

  12. 9.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    The National have finally created an album deserving of all their earlier acclaim. They might still be middle-brow, but they've outpaced even their most accomplished peers
    Read Review

  13. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Let the scribes struggle to find appropriate superlatives that won’t ever come close to capturing the solemn grandeur contained within these songs
    Read Review

  14. 9.0 |   BBC

    Its charms are subtle, its grip soft and easily shrugged by those who choose to pay it only passing attention. Live with it a while, though, and High Violet rewards patience with songs that colour one’s waking existence, becoming vivid night-time narratives when curtains are drawn
    Read Review

  15. 9.0 |   musicOMH

    The National have pulled off a neat trick here - an immediate, commercial album that grows with each listen. While High Violet is patently as good as its antecedents, it is also very much its own beast
    Read Review

  16. 9.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    It is a wild, vivid romance that The National make their own, and on High Violet it sounds just as striking, just as wild, just as vivid as ever
    Read Review

  17. 8.7 |   Pitchfork

    Few other bands provide more relatable or cutting insight into that world's emotional highs and lows
    Read Review

  18. 8.5 |   Bowlegs

    It could be deemed a more mature record, or logical progression, or it could just be seen for what it is, and that is a damn fine record which deserves your time and attention
    Read Review

  19. 8.5 |   The Quietus

    On The National's fifth album the band's aim is true; its vision unflinching yet more inclusive, more alive to the possibility of meaningful escape
    Read Review

  20. 8.0 |   Rave Magazine

    Fans of The National won’t be disappointed, detractors won’t be converted, but expect to see this one on plenty of ‘Best of 2010’ lists
    Read Review

  21. 8.0 |   Spin

    No other band makes dark and stormy seem like ideal weather
    Read Review

  22. 8.0 |   Daily Telegraph

    Their greatest strength is singer Matt Berninger’s magma flow of a voice, running thickly over urgent guitars and jittery drums
    Read Review

  23. 8.0 |   Spin

    No other band makes dark and stormy seem like ideal weather
    Read Review

  24. 8.0 |   The Fly

    Sees an already cherished band fine-tune their flaws to become something truly beguiling and brilliant. Astonishing
    Read Review

  25. 8.0 |   Q

    In anyone's book, it should be a record to treasure. Print edition only

  26. 8.0 |   Uncut

    At the peak moments of High Velvet, The National are magnificent
    Read Review

  27. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    Anyone who loves this record probably has a very exact idea of how it touches on their own life, but most of us probably aren’t going to want to share
    Read Review

  28. 8.0 |   The Digital Fix

    Already being bandied about as "Album of the Year" by some critics, this is certainly one of 2010's highlights so and sure to put these Ohio boys squarely on the map
    Read Review

  29. 8.0 |   The Independent

    It's an impressive achievement overall, offering a masterclass in subtle emotional shading, which none of their current peers, and few of their inspirational influences, could equal
    Read Review

  30. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Their trump card is a brooding grandeur, which make the likes of grandeur Afraid of Everyone and Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks some of the most exquisitely heartrending songs you'll hear all year
    Read Review

  31. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Things move at a stately pace and if it sounds bleak on paper, there's also a beauty here that reinforces how special this band is
    Read Review

  32. 8.0 |   NME

    This lot are fully grown-up, coloured in and going overground. And if the masses aren’t ready by now, they probably never will be

  33. 8.0 |   State

    Five albums in, The National are just getting started
    Read Review

  34. 7.8 |   Beats Per Minute

    Their most, self-serious, dour and morose release yet
    Read Review

  35. 7.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    It is a leap forward for the Brooklyn five-piece and Matt Berninger's baritone has never packed more heft
    Read Review

  36. 7.0 |   All Music

    Muscular, miserable, mighty, and meandering
    Read Review

  37. 7.0 |   Under The Radar

    A fine album, a very, very solid effort that contains some marvelous storytelling and near perfect execution. There are no faults to speak of. But that electricity, that fly by the seat of your pants thrill is something that eludes The National
    Read Review

  38. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Singer Matt Berninger's gorgeous baritone is still the band's main selling point
    Read Review

  39. 6.0 |   Clash

    Bleak as you like, but strangely cathartic in many places
    Read Review

  40. 6.0 |   Blurt

    The National have figured a way to be more chattily conversational and intimate while provoking humor and weird angles out of its sound
    Read Review

  41. 6.0 |   Mojo

    Falls away from Boxer's overwhelming quietness as they fill the erstwhile emptiness with distorted guitars, strings, brass: an ambient tangle. Print edition only

  42. 5.0 |   The Observer

    Widescreen choruses unfurl at predictable moments and glimmers of anything more distinctive are usually soon extinguished
    Read Review

blog comments powered by Disqus

Watch it

Roll over video for more options

Hear it

Preview & download it

The National: High Violet

  • Download full album for just £8.49
  • 1. Terrible Love £0.89
  • 2. Sorrow £0.89
  • 3. Anyone’s Ghost £0.89
  • 4. Little Faith £0.89
  • 5. Afraid Of Everyone £0.89
  • 6. Bloodbuzz Ohio £0.89
  • 7. Lemonworld £0.89
  • 8. Runaway £0.89
  • 9. Conversation 16 £0.89
  • 10. England £0.89
  • 11. Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks £0.89
  • Service provided by 7Digital

Latest Reviews

More reviews