Apart from possibly Radiohead and Elbow, very few bands have been as consistently brilliant as The National this far into their career. After six incredible studio albums that have seen them grow from a cult name to one of the biggest outfits in the world, the band are looking to continue their run with album number seven 'Sleep Well Beast'. And from the very start, you can tell that their magic touch has still not gone anywhere.
Between this record and their last, 'Trouble Will Find Me', frontman Matt Berninger took some time out to work on his side-project EL VY, an endeavour that has clearly had some influence on their new release. 'Sleep Well Beast' paints itself as a LP of two sides, one that displays their powerful songwriting and vocal performance of Berninger, and the other that simply wants to have a good time. This juxtaposition of tone isn't rare to The National, but the way it encourages pace within the record makes for a truly engaging listen.
From the sounds of this record, it looks like it'll be a long time before the band ever start to falter. There are so many great ideas on this album it is hard to imagine that they had any trouble putting it together, proving that they remain one of America's greatest exports today.