High Violet marks the third entry in a very impressive hat trick by The National. While it doesn’t have the “instant classic” designation that Boxer had seemingly on arrival it makes the run of albums from Alligator to High Violet the greatest 1-2-3 punch since Elvis Costello’s first albums.
Another collection of ballads of white collar malaise High Violet builds on fantastic production that made Boxer such a classic. That fantastic drum sound and instrument separation are still there and Matt Berninger continues to expand his range. There are some more tender and intimate moments on this record like “Afraid of Everyone” and "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks". I strongly recommend getting your hands on the newly released expanded edition and giving the alternate version of “Terrible Love” a spin. It has the extra teeth that all of their songs seem to acquire in a live setting. Seeing them play at Pioneer Courthouse Square on a September evening may have been the highlight of Musicfest Northwest.