Over the course of their past three albums, The National have become experts in the pace and gait of weighty emotions. Ever conscious of the glacial inertia of loss, sorrow, or love, the Cincinnati five piece approach “Don’t Swallow the Cap” with the detached wisdom of weathered romantics. The flitting tempo — Bryan Devendorf’s drumming slays as always — battles the track’s tender insights, and what you are offered is the idea that time is the least discriminate part of any experience. When the track ends after what feels like 2 minutes, you are nonplussed to have actually consumed its four minutes and forty five seconds. Matt Berninger croons, “I can’t get the balance right,” when in actuality this is what the National have achieved with immaculate precision.
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