The National’s records are always great alchemy: U2-size anthems being tugged at by dour lyricism, while heart-on-sleeve intensity is blanketed by frilly orchestration. For a decade the band has steadily built on these strengths with each successive album, but with Trouble Will Find Me
The National has now comfortably settled into its own genre. As always, the songs fall into three categories: chugging slow-burners that turn into an anthems (“Grace”), sombre songs that turn into anthems (“Heavenfaced”) or sombre songs that remain somber throughout (“Fireproof”). Incredibly, the record still comes off as thrilling and cathartic despite these formulas, which means The National may have finally moved beyond buzz-band status and into legend-building territory.