Leah Greenblatt
May 05, 2010 AT 04:00 AM EDT

High Violet

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
genre
Rock

We gave it a B+

The National are masters of a baroque and somber indie-rock subgenre — call it Hopeless Majestic — defined by dirgelike guitars and elegiac imagery. Their fifth album High Violet is slow to blossom; its sumptuous layers and stately pace can feel almost funereal, and frontman Matt Berninger often sounds badly in need of Paxil. But Violet eventually burrows in, and stays. B+

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See all of this week’s reviews

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