We waited a day to comment on the news of the surprise the National
track that dropped yesterday because we wanted a chance to really soak it in. The National aren't a band for swift responses. Their music requires time to percolate through your system. Boxer
is one of my favorite records of the aughts, but I also thought it and High Violet
were incredibly boring the first time I listened to them. You need a chance for the band's sparse but elegant arrangements and for Matt Berninger's melancholy and dense lyricism to grow on you.
I suspect the newest the National track, "Sunshine On Your Back," is going to be polarizing. I never thought I would hear a song by the National that sounds like their attempt to put their own spin on the Smiths, but I can't help but hear a little bit of Morrissey and Johnny Marr here. There are still hints of the despair and ennui that define so much of the National's best work, but there's something almost uplifting about the production. As much as I loved Trouble Will Find Me
, it also felt like the National was trying to pare away everything but the bare essentials of their sound. Let's hope that "Sunshine on My Back" means the band is looking to experiment more with their sound on their newest -- and still unannounced -- album.