Best tunes of 2010: #3 The National “Runaway”

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The National is a five-piece indie rock band that formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2001. They have since released seven full length studio albums and along the way have gained a serious following and managed substantial cred. They have already been seen in the pages of this young blog a handful of times, featuring in both of the Best Albums lists I have thus far compiled and appearing in this very list at the number 22 spot with “Conversation 16”.

There’s no saving anything
Now we’re swallowing the shine of the sun
There’s no saving anything
How we swallow the sun
But I won’t be no runaway

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that the seemingly stream of consciousness lyrics are a massive draw to The National’s sound. They are literate and poetic and sometimes are images that balloon to a dream or a concrete moral epiphany and at other times, are as obtuse as trigonometry. It’s fun to try to unravel meanings in the randomness of Matt Berninger’s compositions, an inside joke in gravity’s rainbow.

“Runaway” is a dirge. Bass drums thumping and laying down life as we know it. Acoustic finger picking, lilting through the dry ice fog and suddenly there’s a hint of horns, a taps for a new generation, sad but uplifting. Berninger’s deep rumble like a calming massage to your temples, breathing life into all corners of your tired consciousness. And by the end of it, you want to run away with the band, willing to go with them, wherever they will take you. It’s all so sweet.

And I think that just about sums it up.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2010 list, click here.

5 replies on “Best tunes of 2010: #3 The National “Runaway””

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