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Sleep Well Beast
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Rating
Album: Sleep Well Beast
# Song Title   Time
1)    Nobody Else Will Be There More Info...
2)    Day I Die More Info...
3)    Walk It Back More Info...
4)    The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness More Info...
5)    Born To Beg More Info...
6)    Turtleneck More Info...
7)    Empire Line More Info...
8)    I'll Still Destroy You More Info...
9)    Guilty Party More Info...
10)    Carin At The Liquor Store More Info...
11)    Dark Side of the Gym More Info...
12)    Sleep Well Beast More Info...
 

Album: Sleep Well Beast
# Song Title   Time
1)    Nobody Else Will Be There More Info...
2)    Day I Die More Info...
3)    Walk It Back More Info...
4)    The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness More Info...
5)    Born To Beg More Info...
6)    Turtleneck More Info...
7)    Empire Line More Info...
8)    I'll Still Destroy You More Info...
9)    Guilty Party More Info...
10)    Carin At The Liquor Store More Info...
11)    Dark Side of the Gym More Info...
12)    Sleep Well Beast More Info...
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Kyle Resnick (vocals, trumpet, flugelhorn); Justin Vernon (vocals, synthesizer); Carin Besser, Lisa Hannigan, Arone Dyer, Matthew Berninger (vocals); Josh Kaufman (guitar); Domitille Gilon, Pauline Hauswirth, Ariadna Teyssier, Matthias Piccin, Marc Desjardins, Leslie Boulin Raulet, Emilie Duch-Sauzeau, Charlotte Juillard, Nikolai Spassov (violin); Benachir Boukhatem, Marine Gandon, Sarah Chenaf (viola); Barbara Le Liepvre, Juliette Salmona, Ella Jarrige (cello); Maaike Van Der Linde (flute, bass flute); Emma Landarrabilco (flute); Renaud Guy Rousseau (clarinet); Bastien Nouri (oboe); Louise Lapierre (bassoon); Benjamin Lanz (trombone, synthesizer); Cdric Bonnet, Romain Bly (horns); Katia Labque (piano); Walter Martin , Nick Lloyd (organ); Erwan Castex (keyboards, electronic percussion); Jan St. Werner, Andi Toma, Thomas Bartlett (keyboards); Jason Treuting, Eric Beach (drums, percussion); David Chalmin (drums); Alexander Ridha (electronic percussion); Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner , Bryan Devendorf, James McAlister (drum programming).
  • Audio Mixers: Jonathan Low; Peter Katis.
  • Recording information: Funkhaus, Berlin; Future Past, Hudson, NY; Illegoland; Long Pond; Michelberger Hotel, Berlin; Studio Saint Germain; Studio Saint Germain, Los Angeles.
  • Photographer: Graham Macindoe.
  • Arranger: The National.
  • The National never seem in a hurry to reach their destination, but there's a sense of quiet urgency on Sleep Well Beast, their seventh album. Much of that momentum arrives in arrangements that generally tend to eschew the grayscale of its 2013 predecessor, Trouble Will Find Me, a record that felt sculpted so that each element was elegantly interlocked. Comparatively, Sleep Well Beast draws attention to itself through the occasional squall of noise ("The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness") and rushed tempo ("Turtleneck"), but also through an expanded sonic palette. Electronics are used for texture and shade, vocal harmonies glide through the mix, pianos anchor a couple of tunes -- all subtle gradients within the National's recognizable formula, but they're enough to give Sleep Well Beast a distinct character. Such a shift may not be startling, particularly since it takes a while for album opener "Nobody Else Will Be There" to fade into view, but by the time the murmuring title track evaporates, it's evident that Sleep Well Beast offers a journey with satisfying detours. This is a welcome departure (and perhaps necessary complement) to Trouble Will Find Me, which celebrated its finely manicured stillness. While Sleep Well Beast offers more than its fair share of hushed moments -- the National design their music to be lean-in listening, requiring an investment from their audience not only so that the lyrics can be deciphered, but so the subdued shifts in emphasis seem dynamic -- this familiar signature seems enhanced by the fact that these soft, slow songs are surrounded by cuts where the darkness opens up slightly but significantly. It's enough to make Sleep Well Beast feel like a dramatic departure in the close quarters of the National's discography. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Lyrically and sonically, the National's seventh LP plumbs anxieties more deeply than ever. The result is a disarmingly potent album, not just emotionally but politically as well."

Spin - "The band's seventh studio album seems to exist in a spectral, late-night hour, in a space between dreaming and waking: there are liquid gurgles, metallic crackles, and xylophonic swoops..."

Uncut - "[I]t was Berninger's narrative of a marriage in quiet crisis that caught the attention; not least because the lyrics were co-written with his wife, Carin Besser."

Magnet - "[T]hroughout SLEEP WELL BEAST, the band seems to be pushing itself: Artful touches abound in subtle electronics, in orchestral grandeur, in pealing guitar hooks..."

NME (Magazine) - "[I]t's an album on which Matt Berninger, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, and Bryan and Scott Devendorf stray outside the previously clearly defined lines of what The National sound is. It's more experimental lyrically."

Paste (magazine) - "Musically, SLEEP WELL BEAST has more unexpected turns than any record the band has ever done....It doesn't skew from the high-caliber rock and roll the band has been producing since day one."

Pitchfork (Website) - "It is full of abandon and quiet contemplation as Matt Berninger sings not about how to enjoy life, but how to simply endure it."

Clash (Magazine) - "SLEEP WELL BEAST is an album that rewards repeat listens and unfurls its beauty slowly over time: The National have yet again made an album that's as brilliant as it is ambitious."
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