It used to be that you had to come to The National’s albums. But Trouble Will Find Me comes to you. On its sixth proper effort, the Cincinnati-to-Brooklyn quintet ensures that every instrument seduces, pronounces its otherwise subtle hooks and reduces the usual confounding metaphors in favor of a more translucent prose. One listen in, and the record feels like an old pair of jeans you wear all weekend.
That said, consistency abounds here. Much of the 13-track album thrives in a perpetual state of tonal serenity, no matter the drive or employed tempo of drummer Bryan Devendorf, The National’s secret weapon. Singer Matt Berninger still eschews the vocal acrobatics, though his baritone has never sounded more articulate, or possessed so much warmth. And the band’s effortless melodicism and emotional cues will sound familiar to anyone who bought 2010’s High Violet.
That record might’ve flashed a little more ambition or sense of purpose; Trouble largely sticks to what worked best the last time around. That would be a larger transgression had the members sounded like anything less than inimitable musical craftsmen. They have found a comfort and intuitiveness in their aesthetic, and we in turn are assuaged hearing it.