If rock ’n’ roll is a young man’s game, then kudos must be given to The National. Over the course of the last decade, the band has helped rewrite the indie-rock rulebook and thus become the go-to band for aging hipsters with Real World Problems. On Trouble Will Find Me, the band’s sixth studio album, we get 13 tracks that tackle issues ranging from settling in to striving too hard to dealing with the depressive side of love. Yes, it’s a downer, but it’s a surprisingly listenable one. Take “I Need My Girl,” a quietly pulsing ballad that pairs frontman Matt Berninger’s low-register ruminations with a bright, plucky guitar line. Later, “Humiliation” combines galloping drums and somber pianos with a quietly leading guitar, while Berninger delivers lines like “as the freefall advances, I’m the moron who dances.” To his credit, no one can wallow as effectively as Berninger, and here his low, crestfallen baritone is at its strongest and most damning, making Trouble Will Find Me yet another of his striking lessons in aging gracefully.
Trouble Will Find Me