This Ohio-based band strikes a lush, adorable balance between the country-pop of bands such as Jayhawks and Golden Smog and the gloomy, depressing crooning of Tom Waits. Lead singer Matt Berninger manages to transcend leveling the fine background with some reflection and introspection on "Cold Girl Fever" and "Watching You Well." The country hues touched on in "American Mary" are only surpassed by the album's perfect song "Theory of the Crows," a morbid waltz through loneliness and loss. Throughout it all, the band manages not only to exceed their pigeonholed genres but gives a fresh perspective with brilliantly crafted numbers. Starting up where Wilco left off with their Summerteeth album, the group delivers a generous heaping of Americana and alt-country. Brilliant.
Upon first spin, Trouble Will Find Me, the warm, wistful, and weary sixth long-player from The National, sounds a lot like 2010's warm, wistful, and weary High Violet, but where the former was built on a foundation of suburban despondency and casual, middle class self-destruction (and skillfully juggled melodrama and dark comedy), the latter feels mired in regret, seeking refuge in the arms of old friends and lost lovers, sounding for all the world like a single cube of ice lazily swirling about a recently drained tumbler of single malt scotch, a notion best intoned on early album standout "Demons," which casually announces "I am secretly in love with everyone I grew up with."
Olivier Benoit brings his EUROPA project to a close by setting a northerly course with his musicians that takes them to the capital of Norway. Oslo is an atypical city. Nestling in the heart of triumphant natural surroundings, it has constantly pursued its architectural and cultural transformation, somewhere in between ancient tradition and the incredibly modern. At the close of the last century, this city was already setting the tone for new artistic concepts. To accompany the capital of Norway in music and establish a subjective portrait of the city, first an immersion was necessary. Living to the rhythm of Oslo’s seasons constituted a vital source of inspiration that provided the composition with its starting point.
Since The National released sixth album ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ in 2013, it’s fair to say the world has found nothing but trouble. Follow-up ‘Sleep Well Beast’ continues the theme, asking on the rollocking ‘Day I Die’, “the day I die – where will we be?”. In a bunker, sheltering from a Trumpian nuclear war at this rate.
This recording presents–almost–Berlioz's original thoughts on this very complicated opera (which went through more than a dozen versions, with additions and subtractions, in the composer's lifetime), although conductor John Nelson also adds an aria or two Berlioz later added, making it somewhat different from the version recorded by Philips under Sir Colin Davis a little over 30 years ago.
Citizen Kane: The Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann is probably the best of the entire series by conductor Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Every track is worthwhile and memorably played, especially Beneath the 12-Mile Reef and the suite from Citizen Kane, the latter highlighted by Kiri Te Kanawa's performance of the Strauss-like aria from Salammbo.