Music: High Violet - Expanded Edition by The National *****
Published 10/12/2010 | 05:00
I normally abhor the practice of releasing expanded/special/limited -- delete as appropriate -- editions of albums just months after they first appeared. The idea is to try to snare those who've already stumped up for the original.
I'll make an exception for this: The National's fifth album. The existing 12 songs are uncommonly good -- my favourite track changes by the week -- and the eight numbers that make up the second disc are well worth investigation.
There are two brand new songs, Wake Up Your Saints and You Were A Kindess -- both excellent -- as well as B-sides Walk Off and Sin-Eaters.
An alternative version of Terrible Love tones down the melodrama of the original and, of the three live tracks included, the brass-inflected England is especially stirring.
As Matt Berninger's passionate singing reaches its crescendo, it will serve as a reminder to those who saw last week's remarkable shows at The Olympia.
Burn it: Wake Up Your Saints; England (live)