Good point, although someone new to the National really can’t go wrong with any of Alligator, Boxer, or High Violet.
Actually…now that I think about it, I can’t reduce my list past these 14 (which incidentally does not include Daughters), in no particular order:
Terrible Love (alt)
Afraid of Everyone
So Far Around the Bend
The Geese of Beverly Road
Racing Like a Pro
Daughters of the Soho Riots absolutely belongs on this list, along with Abel and the Geese of Beverly Road.
That “Sleep All Summer” cover is pure magic.
Agreed. I audibly gasped when I opened my email and saw a message with “R.I.P. Jason Molina” in the title.
I’m in the same boat (having trouble getting into PV). It’s an interesting observation about the sequencing, too… Sometimes when I’m having trouble getting into an album, I’ll hack up the track order and re-arrange it in a different way (or just listen to certain songs individually before listening to the whole). It’s how I came around to Ryan Adams’ 29, for example. Having the slow, 8-minute “Strawberry Wine” in the #2 spot was throwing me off the album for the longest time. Once I started listening to the tracks out of order, I was able to appreciate them individually, which later extended to the album as a whole (including, by the end, “Strawberry Wine”). Now it’s one of my personal favorite RA albums, but it took a long time to get there.
21 was Adele’s Jagged Little Pill.
What happened to the sad pop songs?
(Seriously – radio used to have them. Where’d they go?)
Absolutely. Maybe it’s because Winter was my point of entry for FR, but I don’t understand the distaste for that album. It’s got “Swim If You Can’t See Land,” for chrissakes!
This post deserves so many more upvotes. “Risk” – man, you nailed it.
I have to say, every time Mumford and Sons come up on this site, it makes me uneasy. Part of that is because I truly don’t think they’re as bad as Stereogum commenters like to pretend (and part of THAT is because – and this always gets me downvoted, but whatever – there is an awful lot of groupthink going on here). So I feel like I have to defend a band I don’t actually like. But I can’t say I dislike them either – it’s just that, for whatever reason, their music doesn’t click with me. And maybe that’s enough. Maybe we spend too much time convincing ourselves that the “MUSIC ISN’T VERY GOOD” (as Hartford said a few comments above) when really it’s just “THIS DOESN’T CLICK WITH ME FOR AN UNKNOWABLE REASON.” I dunno.
But I really dig this “risk” thing, and that’s what I meant to say when I started typing…