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This seven-track mini-album from New York's the National picks up the baton initially laid down by their previous second album 'Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers'. All impassioned songs of heartache, lost (or never found) love and finding solace in a liquor bottle in the early hours. Singer Matt Berninger follows in the impressive dynasty of the likes of Leonard Cohen and Will Oldham in detailing the minutae of relationships and the agonising ups and downs.
As with their recent album, 'Cherry Tree' has been dug out of the same furrow and so, in part, doesn't mark any great progress. Songs like the opener 'Wasp Nest', the title track and 'About Today' though are already accomplished works that show the band is definitely one to take note of.
The highlight is a live version of 'Murder Me Rachel, one of the tracks from the last album. Whereas the other tracks have a somewhat subdued tone, here the band sparks into life, crashing through a high-octane version of the song as Berninger ends up screaming out the lyrics at the end as the musical accompliment descends into riotous chaos.
It's all very lovely indeed.
Commenting On: Cherry Tree by National
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Impassioned new seven-track mini-album from New York's the National, which takes off from their last album 'Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers', in its depictions of heartache, lost love and solitary drinking
National:Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, 1/7/2008
Helen Tipping is impressed by both the accessibility and stateliness of Americana band the National's unique brand of indie rock at a show at the Metropolitan University in Leeds
DVD-National:A Skin, A Night
Ben Howarth looks at 'A Skin. A Night', alt rock band the National's new film and EP package, but, despite it arriving hot on the heels of their high regarded 'Boxer' album, is unconvinced by it.
National :Academy, Manchester, 10/11/2007
Dixie Ernill watches the much acclaimed National play a stunning and often unexpected set at the Academy in Manchester
Terrible Love - 7"
Discordantly beautiful, but unnecessary alternative version of previous National single, one of the tracks from their outstanding 'High Violet' album
High Violet - CD
Essential fifth album from much acclaimed New York-based group the National, which despite its bleak subject matter reveals itself to be surprisingly uplifting
Bloodbuzz Ohio - 7"
Appetising first vinyl and download only single from ever impressive the National's fifth album, 'High Violet'
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