Next Tuesday sees the re-release of one of the best albums of the year, High Violet, by The National. The National usually follow up their studio albums with a re-release or an EP filled with new and live tracks. For Boxer they released The Virginia EP and for Alligator they released a deluxe version with 5 new tracks and a couple videos. Being their biggest commercial success, there was never a doubt that they wouldn’t follow up High Violet with some extra material. On November 23 the “Expanded Edition” of High Violet will hit your local record store and give you 3 new National songs, 2 B-sides and 3 live tracks.
First up we have an alternate version of the High Violet track ‘Terrible Love’. This version lacks the wall of guitar on the original, but it is cleaner, tighter and much easier to understand the lyrics to. It can also be considered the single version of the track as The National have released a video to accompany it (see below). ‘Wake up Your Saints’ is the highlight of the expanded edition and shows an up-beat(!) National similar to that found on ‘So Far Around the Bend’ from the Dark Was The Night compilation. This track was performed live in 2009 but never made the final cut for High Violet, likely as it would not flow with the rest of the album at all. As is custom on National b-sides, ‘Wake up’ reuses lyrics from a couple songs on High Violet, but i’m not going to tell you which ones. The final new track is ‘You Were a Kindness’, a piano driven ballad that grows with each listen.
The 2 B-sides ‘Walk Off’ and ‘Sin-Eaters’ were previously available on the Japanese edition of High Violet and the Blood Buzz Ohio single respectively. They are good songs, but lack that something special found on the 3 new songs. The album is capped with an acoustic version of ‘Blood Buzz Ohio’ and live versions of ‘England’ and Anyone’s Ghost’. ‘Blood Buzz’ loses the ominous feeling that it had on High Violet but is an interesting take with piano and horns taking the lead instead of guitar.
Scour your local record store next Tuesday for this limited edition expanded edition of an awesome album or order it online.
Here is the ‘Terrible Love’ video as mentioned above: