The National usher in 2006 - Oh My Rockness

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The National usher in 2006

December 21, 2005
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I'll admit that I'm way late getting on The National train. I was young, rash, and I rushed to judgment when I heard the first few notes of Matt Berninger's deep baritone a while back. You see, I tend to be unfairly prejudiced against low singers... I don't know, maybe it has to do with grunge... but when I gave The National a real chance, I was shocked to learn that not only did I really like it, but I sort of loved it.

To give myself a little bit of an excuse, The National has significantly altered their sound in the past couple years, all but giving up their subtle alt-country leanings in favor of Brit-pop inspired melodies. Their most recent album, Alligator -- their first on Beggars, the behemoth of indie labels -- is an amazingly solid album, from track one to track thirteen. It's nice to put on a record and not have to worry about the shuffle option, if only for an hour.

The other four members of The National are two sets of brothers, which may explain why these songs are so incredibly focused and tight. When I listen to The National now, I immediately hear both Joy Division and the Pixies, instead of Stone Temple Pilots and Crash Test Dummies. Yep, I've certainly come around on these guys.

The National plays with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Irving Plaza, Saturday, December 31st.

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