I should start this top twenty by saying – this will not be like most end of year lists. I stopped being involved in the BAMS this year because I just don’t feel my taste is representative of Scottish music writers so there is no point being part of it. As this list counts down towards the top 10 you will probably discover this. In addition, the fact that this record only makes my number 20 slot will probably shock a lot of people. To be honest, it was touch and go as to whether it would even make the top list. There is nothing wrong with this record after all. And 3 years ago, when I was a bit in love with The National thanks to Boxer, their 2010 release ‘High Violet’ made my top 5. However, this record just scrapes in to the top 20 of 2013 by the skin of its balls. I remain a massive National fan but this record just doesn’t have the consistency of previous efforts. As always, the National do what they do, and there is enough different to make the record worth the effort. It’s just not as exciting as previous work from start to finish. So yeah, it’s in the top 20 but probably because I love The National more than I love this record. It does hark back to their earlier work though, which I suppose is something very positive since they were fucking awesome long before they were world stars!