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The National

7 / 10 Matt Berninger’s voice sounds like regret – deep and rich and heavy with worldly wisdom, but sharp with the bitter twang that, somewhere, life did not go to plan. Sucks for him but, trust us, it’s a good thing. Here’s why: his band, The National, are a bunch of former web designers from Brooklyn, and judging by the shimmering guitars that dominate ‘Boxer’, they really like the music of U2. As a one-line pitch, that’s the sort of sell that makes you want to throw yourself into the East River. But with Mr Misery on board, songs like ‘Mistaken For Strangers’ become something gloomily great – uplifting in their melancholy, they’re a set of heartbreak hymns to sob come curfew time.

Louis Pattison

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