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The National 

High Violet (4AD)

The National is not a “love at first sound” band. Maybe Alligator or Boxer knocked your socks off from note one, but if you’re like me, those albums snuck up on you, like a slow-burning affair that you didn’t realize you were in until you were already head-over-heels. High Violet, similarly, is the sort of moody, dense indie rock record that rewards not just repeat listens but the right sort of listens. It plays well enough in your iPod, but let it soundtrack a lonely, introspective Saturday night and the quiet flourishes of songs like “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and “Runaway” will make you wonder where they’ve been all your life.
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