all 77 comments

[–]Hobbes42 72 points73 points  (4 children)

The thing I appreciate most about The National is how I never fall in love with an album immediately.

It always takes a couple years.

[–]coffeefandom 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Omg me too! I've been listening to Sleep Well Beast slowly over the past two years and the past six months it's slapped so hard obsessing over the whole album finally instead of just little pieces.

[–]TheFolksofDonMartino 13 points14 points  (0 children)

No joke, this made me suspicious when I listened to the studio version of Weird Goodbyes and loved it immediately. I went from "holy shit on first listen this is the greatest song I've ever heard" to "wait, that's not how The National work for me". Sure enough, I haven't found myself wanting to revisit it much.

[–]Bigthunderrumblefish 2 points3 points  (0 children)

With each release I like the one before it more. And the ones before those get even better. It sounds like a criticism, but it's not

[–]overturnedkickdrum 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Legit hated the band until I heard "Turtleneck" and it slowly started to click.

And yes, I'm aware that Turtleneck isn't the most liked song from them but for this it holds a special place in my heart

[–]coffeefandom 35 points36 points  (19 children)

Hey whats your favorite song on the album y'all?

For me, Quiet Light. As a photographer, blue hour (the hour before and after the sun rises / sets) is such a moody and beautiful change of light and this song has a lot of imagery and beauty around this natural phenomenon.

The idea of the song being about a relationship ending makes it all the more beautiful. Losing people is a part of life.

[–]TBOSS888 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Where is her head

[–]WheeForEffort 20 points21 points  (2 children)

I have no idea how Hairpin Turns isn't constantly in conversation here. It absolutely breaks me every time.

[–]bsismyinitialsWe're the heirs to the Glimmering World 5 points6 points  (0 children)

what are we going through?

[–]Equivalent-Shoe6239 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Same. I adore that song.

[–]Scaro88I think I’m like Tenessee Williams 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Oh my god yeah quiet light. During lockdown I used to do a lot of bike rides before sunset in that period and it felt so weird then National had a song that seemed to apply so well to the situation (with a sort-of relationship as well). ‘Nothing I wouldn’t do for another few minutes’ felt personal because if you are waking up early to just be in the Quiet light it’s quite an effort. And I always interpreted ‘another sad unbearable morning’ as after the sun comes fully up and you can no longer distinguish the period to just regular day so it’s not special anymore. And when you’re in the quiet light you do tend to think about a lot of things because I suppose you’re generally on your own. There were some other creepily close lyrics as well.

[–]cholulamare 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Hey Rosey and Quiet Light.

[–]FlashFlooder 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Quiet Light is an unbelievably good song. Even Scott goes wild with that funky bass line. The ending kinda falls apart for me, otherwise it might have been their best song of all time.

[–]cholulamare 3 points4 points  (1 child)

That ending with the strings that sounds like an orchestra falling off a cliff is perfect though??

[–]FlashFlooder 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I like the part itself a lot. Just doesn’t work for me with the rest of the song.

[–]almaupsidesi won’t be vacant anymore 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Not in Kansas for me!

[–]overturnedkickdrum 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I really don't get all the love for this song but I'm sure it will randomly click in a year. That's how this band works I guess

[–]cheeseguy412looking for astronauts 3 points4 points  (1 child)

quiet light but rylan, not in Kansas, where is her head, and pull of you are close

[–]Ok_Preparation_4823 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Seeing them perform the album live completely changed my opinion of it. I saw this performance of Pull of You and was just completely blown away. My wife always joked about how The National is depressing and quiet and whatever, and after this song at the concert she had to leave because it was too much for her.


[–]lucashas93 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Rylan and Not In Kansas, can't decide.

[–]Equivalent-Shoe6239 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not In Kansas, genius song. As someone who moved far away from home and hasn’t lived there for 18+ years (I’m 47), Matt’s narrative around revisiting his childhood home (The pool is drained, my bedroom is a stranger’s gun room), and the lament about the state of Ohio…so fucking resonant and poignant.

[–]Ryakkan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oblivions is my current favorite right now.

[–]Aquarian_Girl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A tie between Quiet Light, The Pull of You (has some personal meaning for me), and Rylan.

[–]overturnedkickdrum 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Quiet light is honestly one of my favorite songs at this point. It's just so undescribably comforting but also sad.

Same with Light Years tbh but in a different way

[–]MevrouwJip 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I especially love the film version

[–]Likelybuzzed1 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Surprised no one has mentioned the song, I AM Easy To Find. Probably my favorite on the album. Everything I love about the band is in this song. Really wish the album would've got more attention on this last tour, but oh well, YouTube will do.

[–]bsismyinitialsWe're the heirs to the Glimmering World 2 points3 points  (0 children)

especially when the drums kick in

[–]Equivalent-Shoe6239 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The instrumental at the end of the song is transcendental.

[–]overturnedkickdrum 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I absolutely adore those low harmonies that Matt does for whatever reason. Idk the super low notes just sound really crispy

[–]thefrayedfilesunderwater you're almost free 49 points50 points  (2 children)

IAETF is their Magnum opus, i will die on this hill. Nothing hits quite as hard as it does - even the most uplifting song is a dagger through my heart. Absolutely brilliant.

[–]cholulamare 4 points5 points  (0 children)


[–]keeptheeveningslongIs this how this whole thing is gonna end? 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Finally some taste

[–]Late_Suit3308 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Quiet Light and Light Years are top tier National songs for me, rest of the album is so so. Rylan would be great if it was the KEXP version

[–]thespiderdoctorDreaming in Total Darkness 13 points14 points  (0 children)

It absolutely is, no questions about it. Last Christmas, my mom had a difficult time and was pretty tired. So we just let her vibe to her favorite album which is this one. This whole album makes me think of her and how much she loves this band. Without her and my dad, I would've never been able to appreciate it as much as they do if not more so. So, yeah, you're right this album is a masterpiece. :)

[–]javierorubio[S] 6 points7 points  (1 child)

The response from you peeps has been amazing! My intention was never to discredit any of their other albums, on the contrary. I feel that the evolution of The National as a band has progressively shown In their sound. This is why they are my absolute favorite band.

Their music has helped me through many rough periods. Even this year in March when I did a ketamine treatment for depression, I listened to all of their albums, no skips, start to finish, during the sessions. I might expand on that on another post.

Thank you for the love and thanks for the gold!

Love you all but remember "All the wine is all for me".

[–]cholulamare 6 points7 points  (0 children)

So glad you created this thread and it got a good response, I didn't think there were many other IAETF fans on this sub.

Would be interested to hear about your treatment - hope you're doing well now.

[–]cholulamare 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I don't think anyone has mentioned this yet but I was listening to IAETF today and my god, Matt's voice on this album 🤌

I really think he's sounding better as he gets older and the low parts of IAETF and Roman Holiday especially are captivating.

[–]lamentedfriendmisses those longs nights with the windows open 12 points13 points  (1 child)

I think it COULD be a masterpiece, I found IAETF as "natural heartbreaking", like, you could be feeling a lot of pain, sadness, sorrow, stress, but you can think about this kind of feelings watching a long and large pond, nothing but hearing the birds singing, the breeze touching your face, the sunset in front of you, sitting in the grass. That's what I feel when I listen any song of the album. My problem is the tracklist itself, I don't like too much the interludes, the length doesn't justify itself neither, a 40-45 length would be perfect for me.

[–]bsismyinitialsWe're the heirs to the Glimmering World 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah the interludes arent needed, but i do think it is still wonderful. respect ur opinion tho

[–]caitsith01 10 points11 points  (2 children)

No need to change your mind, you like what you like.

For me it sits comfortably a rung or two below Alligator->Sleep Well Beast which are all 5/5, and it suffers by comparison. Also I consider Matt's voice as an integral part of the band's sound so I didn't enjoy the guest vocals, despite them being extremely good.

I have been hoping for a shift back to something a bit more varied and (at times) up tempo but the new single doesn't inspire much hope of that.

[–]Deep-Thought 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Also I consider Matt's voice as an integral part of the band's sound so I didn't enjoy the guest vocals, despite them being extremely good.

This is the main issue for me. Large parts of it just didn't feel like a The National album.

[–]bsismyinitialsWe're the heirs to the Glimmering World -1 points0 points  (0 children)

thats how i felt first listening to it, but it has grown on me immensely

[–]zoodlenose👾 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Theres just not enough Matt for it to be their best album.

[–]Low-Kaleidoscope-149 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Totally agree, I don’t know why so many people seem to dislike it so much, it’s incredible. The only stuff I can do without are the interludes and Not in Kansas.

[–]bsismyinitialsWe're the heirs to the Glimmering World 3 points4 points  (1 child)

same, but id add dust swirls in strange light

[–]Low-Kaleidoscope-149 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yeah I guess I consider that an interlude but anyway definitely agree

[–]quicksilver777 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Each album to the die hard fans like us hold a spacial place in our hearts. Most of that may come from the timing in our lives or special events that took place. For IAEFT it never really resonated with me other than a couple of songs: Light Years and to a lesser extent Rylan. Unpopular opinion on this sub but I think they can do better as musicians and songwriters. Looking forward to see where they go with their upcoming album. I fear it may not be to my liking again if Weird Goodbyes is an indication.

[–]junkgarage 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Same. If IAETF is a “masterpiece” wtf is boxer or alligator?!

[–]ellaadored 9 points10 points  (0 children)

There's no lie here fam. It's a triumph of songwriting and arrangements.

[–]junkgarage 17 points18 points  (2 children)

I’ll disagree - bar the first two; I think its their worst record and too long. I find it hard to sit through in one sitting and only ever go back to individual songs. I also didnt love the tour for the record from the shows i attended.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers is spectacular!

[–]flankattack27 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Very underrated for sure

[–]Lightningstruckagain 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Take out the interlude fillers and yes, I would agree.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Rather the song than the album imo

[–]Quaznarg 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I mean, it's still leagues better than most many band's best albums. I enjoy most of the songs on it. If it was cut to maybe 8-10 tracks I would agree with you, but as it stands it's just too long. It has some of the best songs they've ever written, but some stuff that's just okay by their standards.

[–]cparksrun 8 points9 points  (3 children)

It's the album with the most skips for me. The interludes aren't great, kinda hate Not in Kansas (even though I recently realized I know all the words), and I loved the guest vocals but still wish Matt had more of a presence.

I hope this is the furthest into "artsy" territory they venture. I'm glad they did it, and glad they went into a unique direction and explored new sounds and possibilities. But now I kinda want them to dial it back and release something closer to the albums preceeding IAETF.

[–]junkgarage 3 points4 points  (0 children)

As the only other person to post an opinion that isn’t “it’s a masterpiece!” I completely agree. Especially on the artsy point.

[–]cspot1978 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’m simultaneously good with the masterpiece characterization and also in agreement with the last line here.

[–]quicksilver777 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well said and totally agree. Quite nervous about the direction they are taking actually.

[–]bradk11098 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not in my Top 5. It doesn’t grasp me in the entirety like the other ones do. That’s the thing I love so much about the band. Each album other than IAETF feels complete. This one doesn’t for me. There are some really great songs. Not enough Matt and very disjointed. I can listen to it in pieces but I mostly listen to it as part of a shuffle of songs as opposed to a sit down. Now, SWB, TWFM, Boxer and Alligator I can soak up in a sitting.

[–]RealCorrigan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This album absolutely destroyed me when it first came out. Part of that was the movie, but it dropped at a delicate time for me as well and it was hard to get through cover to cover. Circumstances have changed now and I’m able to enjoy it more for what it is, but I agree 100% that it’s a masterpiece among the many others from The National!

[–]Equivalent-Shoe6239 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]Candy_Efficient 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Ill just say a few things:

Not in Kansas

Quiet Light

Roman Holiday

Hey Rosey


Album 100/10

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It’s good no doubt but masterpiece idk.. wish they would turn up the amps a little more … a mixture of alligator and I’m east to find would be a masterpiece

[–]LongReindeer1463 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Its the Best national album! Fight me

[–]cheeseguy412looking for astronauts 1 point2 points  (0 children)

their best by far

[–]LightEndedTheNight 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s their best album.

[–]shaqaroses 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not so much. Why so many features?

[–]AmazingTea2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's a majestic, graceful record. I'd say that it's their most vocally accomplished album, just a huge amount of incredible melodies and vocal ideas that have an effortless quality them, given that there are so many of them. Love how the female vocalists blend so well with Matt's voice and Rylan is just a bloody masterpiece!

[–]Ok_Preparation_4823 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Honestly, I just don't love Gail Ann Dorsey. I loved the version of You Had Your Soul with You with Julien Baker. She was featured too heavily on the album. I agree with the earlier comment about wishing it the KEXP version of Rylan.

This album was released while I was in Italy on my honeymoon and I remember listening to Roman Holiday while being on a train going to Rome. That was really cool.

At the end of the day, it was a good-not-great album. I think based on their recent set lists and the direction it sounds like they're going with their new record, they weren't crazy about the outcome of the album either. I remember them discussing Not in Kansas, which was one of my favorite songs except for the weird interludes, and they said those were Mike Mills idea. I suspect that a lot of the concepts from this album that National fans don't love were Mike Mills idea.

[–]MrChummyNosei get so far so fast 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I agree, loved it since release, still love it, quiet light is my favourite song by them period.

[–]Lordthom 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It is the album that made me get to know the national. So it will always have a special place in my heart

[–]samerrrhaaa3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely agree, I think I'd place it second/third in their discography behind Sleep Well Beast and maybe Boxer but there are so many slow burners and really well thought out and deeply layered cuts on this album. Certainly is thematically my favorite The National album. Quiet Light and Oblivions are two of my top 5 songs in The National canon, just perfection!

[–]meltdownin5 0 points1 point  (0 children)

O. Try ty I.

[–]cardmayorsam 0 points1 point  (0 children)

All of their albums are great! This one is no exception.

[–]Fluffy_Juggernaut_15spinning and quiet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The production is pristine, but I think the songwriting is a step below everything from Cherry Tree through SWB.

[–]dogtooth2222 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think it's a pretty great album but calling it a masterpiece is seriously lowering the bar for what is their best work, or what makes an album a masterpiece in general.

There is a lot of filler in there, IMO. Some of the songs are big swings and misses. Whereas an album like Boxer or Trouble Will Find Me sets and maintains a high bar from start to finish.

I guess the follow-up question I have for the poster is, where do you rank the album amongst their discog? If you think it's their best/your favorite, by all means designate it a masterpiece. But if you think it's your third or fourth favorite national album I think you're giving them a little too much credit, sort of suggesting their lesser works are still in some sort of Indie Pantheon of greatness.