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Music and Cocktails: Gonna Keep You in Love With Me

Music and Cocktails: Gonna Keep You in Love With Me

I’ve been a huge fan of The National since I saw them in concert nearly seven years ago, and I’m beyond excited to be seeing them again in Philadelphia at the end of September. Their work has been incredibly consistent, and their latest album Sleep Well Beast is certainly no exception in terms of quality, yet it has brought with it a slight shift in sound and meaning. The National has always been a rock band with a very guitar forward focus, but the introduction of carefully selected electronic and orchestral elements on this release raises things to a whole new level, and creates layers of both subtlety and sophistication. Band frontman Matt Berninger, who writes his song lyrics with his wife Carin Besser, often taps into the darker, more melancholic aspects of life and love. That’s one of the reasons why I love The National so much! Sleep Well Beast zeroes in on the idea of the dissolution of long term relationships and the difficulty in maintaining that first flush of love that can so quickly slip away from us. There are also several tracks on the album that focus on our country’s current political situation and leave no question as to who is responsible for it. Greg Kott sums it up best in an article for the Chicago Tribune by saying, ” [Sleep Well Beast] is an album that works well with the lights turned low, if only to better empathize with the dimming prospects of singer Matt Berninger’s narrators.” Totally true.

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