When the National became what we could arguably call “present’s world greatest indie band”, a classification Brooklyn-via-Cincinnati group (tks, P4k) achieved among some folks with their widely acclaimed 2010 album High Violet, they’ve sort of crossed the river of relative “pop/rock starness”. That can be tough, can lead to get your own fans to stop from being your fans, can lead, in a band like the National, to an extreme, pernicious mainstreamization, to be sloughy about your song writing and music composition. Even if some people, like that friend of mine (no pun intended) who claimed that despite being a huge fan of Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers and Alligator, and “all tolerant” about Boxer (that enormous collection of catchy – though kinda sad – songs), thinks High Violet is awful, its drumming is unbearable, et cetera, et cetera, the fact is that a record like that only happens once in a blue moon. High Violet is the sad (and officier) version of Seinfeld, the sitcom, of the 21st century, in the form of a music record. Also, the National’s evolution with time is unbelievably well, I dare say flawlessly planned. They have grown as a band with the years, just the way most of their records do the more and more one listens to them (Alligator or its little brother Cherry Tree EP are, probably, the finest example of it), and their strategy is a good one: each time a new record comes out, a new sound, a new topic is added on top of what we already knew.