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Concert preview: The National 

Wednesday, May 26 2010

When it comes to nuanced gloom and prickly ennui, no one approaches the perfection of Matt Berninger. As the soul-plumbing baritone fronting the National, he bestows a late-night whiskey warmth to songs that are more about unlikely survival than abject failure. A new album, High Violet, at last finds the Brooklyn five-piece a global — almost mainstream — force after the slow, steady success of Alligator and Boxer. Like those releases, it takes time to sink in, although the bracing lead single "Bloodbuzz Ohio" connects immediately.

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Doug Wallen

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