May 14, 2010
New Albums: The National and Jackson Browne
The National – High Violet
This alternative/indie rock band has been around for about a decade, and High Violet is The National’s fifth studio album. That’s a lot for ten years, isn’t it?? Especially since it has been three years since their last album, Boxer came out in 2007.
“Terrible Love” is my favorite song off the album, I think. It reminds me of Romantic poetry like Keats and Shelley, you know? It’s talking about the horror of love and nature and how it causes so much despair. It’s dark and brooding, and the music behind it is really soft. It’s a nice blend and contrast of intense and serene. “Afraid of Anyone” is a lot like that, too.
Also, if you think about it, don’t you think “England” sounds like a song that should have been in Garden State? The National seems like a perfect choice for that movie (or movies like it…but are there any, really?).
The band has five members, including two pairs of brothers. They formed the band back in 1999 in Cincinnati, Ohio. They released their first album in 2001 under an independent label (founded by one of the brothers in the band), but now they are with 4AD, a small British label. Overall, I think High Violet is a really good album with eleven paradoxical, intense, interesting songs. Check it out now!
Jackson Browne – Love Is Strange
Jackson Browne has been around for a long time. The 61-year-old rocker has released thirteen studio albums and four compilation/live albums. Now he has a fifth live album with Love Is Strange, a CD containing a whopping twenty-eight tracks.
Love Is Strange features the soft-spoken musician speaking and performing for several different audiences while he was touring Spain. It’s actually a really lovely album that will take you back to the era of classic rock that was most popular in the 1970s. I would say “Call it a Loan” is the most exemplary of that.
From the 1970s to the 1990s, Browne has been a multi-platinum-selling artist, so it’s only natural that people would flock to get his live compliations. Love Is Strange takes some memorable performances on which he put a Spanish twist (to adapt to his audience). It’s a great blend of American classic rock and Spanish instrumental music. His notes are so clear, and his voice is so concise. There aren’t a lot of performers like that these days!
I’d say my favorite song off this live album is probably “Running on Empty.” He sounds great. Normally I would have said it was “Take it Easy,” but even though he wrote that song, it wasn’t as popular with him as it was with the Eagles, so I thought that would have been cheating. Check out Love Is Strange today!
Posted by Shaane at 7:00 am