The really odd thing about Trouble Will Find me is that Drowned in Sound’s snarky-sounding comment that the album somehow isn’t the sum of its parts is actually fairly on the mark. It takes a lot of listens before its 13 tracks begin to separate out from the whole. While listening, it feels like an album of high-points. After listening, it feels oddly intangible. You’re sure it was good, but can’t quite recall which tracks in particular have made you feel that way. It doesn’t really make sense for an album that is less one-paced than Boxers, and not as glossy as predecessor High Violet
Gradually, though, shapes start to appear: Pink Rabbits is another in a long line of painfully beautiful Berninger ballads with deft lyrical touches (I was a television version of a person with a broken heart); I Should Live in Salt turns out to be a stately opener; Heavenfaced is deceptively simple and MORish; Sea of Love barrels along in a land of confusion (Sorry I hurt you, but they say love is a virtue, don’t they?), its chorus providing a dramatic change of pace, not to mention the album’s title (If I stay here, trouble will find me, I believe).
And in the end even the most concerned hardcore fans of The National can breathe a sigh of relief: the day they release a middling to stinker of an album is not upon us yet.