The National has steadily held our attention ever since their 2001 self-titled debut. Over the years, the band has developed a uniquely somber yet lush style. The musical arrangements ebb and flow like tides and often have an eerie and tense feel to them — as though you may get pulled into an undertow. But there are also moments of serenity and joy in their sound. It is not lighthearted, easy-listening pop; it's rousing and dramatic music with poetically dark and evocative lyrics.