post brought to you by: dyson
I have impatiently waited for this day to come. Today, May 11th 2010, marks the release of The National’s highly anticipated follow up to “Boxer”, “High Violet”. It’s been here. Not officially, but it’s been here.
Albums leak well before their anticipated release date. This is just a simple fact today. Also, bands decide to release singles as a trickle to entice listeners. I could have grabbed a copy of “High Violet” like so many thousands of people did before the official release. So why did I wait until today to finally give it a proper listen (except the stream they gave us on NYTimes.com and NPR)?
One simple reason: My incredible respect for “Boxer” and the brilliant work of the band and Peter Katis.
Having produced many albums on my own, I know what goes into the process. Nothing is finished until it is pressed to CD or vinyl and then officially released to the public. That is what the people creating these albums perceive as the final product. People bitch and moan about products (unrelated to music) that get released before they are ready. I have fallen victim to this before. Wanting to get an album, saw that it leaked, and realized it was nothing like I had expected. Normally it ends up lacking mastering and being a crappy low quality mp3 version.
Well I didn’t want this to happen with “High Violet”. The production and engineering on “Boxer” is nothing short of perfection. Peter Katis is a wizard. (sorry Todd Rundgren) What Peter manages to pull out of the artists and put onto tape is always incredible. I have never heard drum sounds like I have on “Boxer”. They are powerful, in your face, yet give space to the strings, vocals, and subtle touches that record holds. Want an example?
So I waited like an impatient kid on Christmas for the final version of “High Violet” to come out. I know a friend of mine debcha was right with me. As I write this on my second listen, I am happy. I have a hard time calling this Boxer-Part II, but I’m also happy to say that it is close to that. That’s in no way a bad thing. If The National derailed and tried to reinvent their sound I would be disappointed.