"Terrible Love (Alternate Version)"
Released: November 22, 2010
High Violet is the fifth studio album by The National, which was released on May 10, 2010 in Europe and on May 11, 2010 in North America via 4AD. The band produced the album themselves assisted by Peter Katis with whom they worked on their previous albums Alligator and Boxer at their own studio in Brooklyn, New York, and at Katis' Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The sculpture on the album cover was created by artist Mark Fox, and is called The Binding Force.
An expanded edition of High Violet was released through 4AD on November 22, 2010. The reissue includes the standard 11-track album along with a new bonus disc, featuring the unreleased tracks "You Were a Kindness" and "Wake Up Your Saints" as well as alternate versions, B-sides, and live recordings.
The album's first single "Bloodbuzz Ohio" was made available for download on the band's website on March 24, 2010. The song was also released on 7" vinyl (with the exclusive B-side "Sin-Eaters") on May 3, 2010.
On April 19, 2010, a low-quality version of the album was leaked onto the internet in its entirety which prompted the band to announce that the album would be streaming on The New York Times' website from April 23 until April 27, then on NPR's website until May 11.
High Violet was released to widespread critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 based on reviews from mainstream critics, the album received a score of 85 out of 100 based on 36 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".BBC Music critic Mike Diver hailed the album as The National's "finest disc to date" and "a potential album of the year." Andrew Gaerig of Pitchfork Media wrote that "when they aim for powerful or poetic, they get there" and described High Violet as "the sound of a band taking a mandate to be a meaningful rock band seriously." Steven Hyden of The A.V. Club called the album "carefully considered without being labored" and "richly detailed without being fussy".The Guardian's Dave Simpson wrote that High Violet "is beautifully subtle" and "grows in power with each listen", and The Independent's Andy Gill called it "a masterclass in subtle emotional shading."Sputnikmusic writer Channing Freeman cited the album as the band's "third masterpiece in a row."
High Violet appeared on several publications' year-end lists of the best albums of 2010. Time named it the fourth best album of the year, and it also placed at number 15 on Rolling Stone's list of the 30 best albums of 2010.Pitchfork Media placed it at number 28 on their list of the 50 best albums of 2010.Exclaim! ranked High Violet at number 7 on their list of the Best Pop & Rock Albums of 2010, with critic Travis Persaud stating that it "continues the envious feat of releasing another album that's superior to its predecessor." The album placed at number eight on The Village Voice's year-end Pazz & Jop critics' poll.High Violet was awarded a Q Award for Best Album, an honor presented to The National by English musician Bernard Sumner. The album was also included in the 2011 edition of the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The album debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200 and has sold over 250,000 copies in the US and 600,000 copies worldwide. The album also debuted in Canada at #2, in Portugal at #3, and in Germany at #10. High Violet is now a Gold Album in Canada, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Australia and the United Kingdom.