Did you watch the webcast of The National show from the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Saturday night? It was, predictably, amazing and made me long for an Arizona tour stop. The band hasn’t been to Arizona since October 2005, when it came to Modified on a co-headlining tour with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in support of Alligator (a show I regrettably missed because of work). And to think: People were apparently leaving after CYHSY on nights The National played last – the same band that’s now selling out shows in mere minutes.
Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to see The National on a High Violet tour – either in this state or elsewhere – if only so I can see beauty of England in person. I hardly hesitate to say this is my favorite song of the year, a track that immediately grabbed me after the first few listens of the new album.
Like most great National songs, England swells slowly into a triumphant climax. Even then, it shows some wonderful restraint – never quite coming unhinged the way singer Matt Berninger now famously does during Mr. November. England takes you to the edge, but never jumps, and just the suggestion of a frenetic culmination is sometimes sexier than actually realizing it.
I’m not even sure what to make of the lyrics – someone please explain them to me – but for the time being they seem secondary to the glory of the music, aided here by strings, horns and Doveman on the piano.