Another contender for top 2010 album. This is going to be a tight competition.
The National's High Violet has that perfect mix of heartbreak and paranoia; the recognized sustained brass notes, that are held with the echo of guitar is a signature National sound, but it is always tested, experimented and re-integrated back in.
I have found no weak song in this album, the National touches on all sorts of characters. From a person simply stuck in sorrow, all the way to some dude that is afraid he'd eat someone's brains (there is meaning in there somewhere trust me!), nothing is boring, everything is fresh. Sufjan Stevens and Justin Vernon [Bon Iver] feature too.
Overall, this album is probably more 'accessible' to the modern human ear than previous albums. Melodies are easier to catch on to, it isn't Joanna Newsom; but it never sacrifices creativity for availability.
Berninger's lyrics are not specific to the individual, it is all open for your interpretation, so enjoy your own little personal story as you move through 50 minutes of gold. :)
The National on Letterman