By Siobhan Kane | May 17, 2019
There are choral arrangements and strings on nearly every track – Bryce Dessner’s orchestration elevates (Brooklyn Youth Chorus are a beautiful addition on Dust Swirls in Strange Light, Her Father in the Pool, and Underwater) and Bryan Devendorf’s drums provide another narrative drive that pulls together disparate strands on Where Is Her Head, which is all driving intensity, and Hairpin Turns, with its moody, sensual beat.
By Adrian Thrills | May 16, 2019
"It’s accompanied by a short film starring Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander, while frontman Matt Berninger regularly leaves himself on the bench to make space for a striking cast of female guest singers. With orchestral arrangements by multi-instrumentalist Bryce Dessner, and interludes from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, it’s a meandering mishmash, but one that casts a subtle spell."
By Tyler Hale | May 16, 2019
"As per usual, the album is led by Matt Berninger’s trademark musings on, well, whatever it is that he muses on, paired with the colorful musical tapestry the Dessners and Devendorfs weave (in line with the sonic textures of 2017’s Sleep Well Beast). Theirs is a successful formula that fans and critics have gravitated toward for years. But, things are a bit different here; most noticeably the sweeping vocal additions of Gail Ann Dorsey (former Bowie bandmate), Lisa Hannigan, Kate Stables (This Is the Kit), Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and others. Filling in the space behind - and sometimes in lieu of - Matt’s rumble."
By Mark Kennedy | May 15, 2019
"Their voices — plus the addition of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus on several tracks — elevate material that's already elevated to a baroque level. Fans of The National will gleefully scale their chilly, arty new heights; newcomers may get turned off quick. "I Am Easy to Find" is not to be embraced; it is to be admired."
By Evan Rytlewski | May 16, 2019
"And like Cohen, the National have recruited some of the best singers out, among them Lisa Hannigan, Mina Tindle, Kate Stables, Sharon Van Etten, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, whose spotlight “Dust Swirls in Strange Light” benches Berninger all together. Most revelatory of all is Gail Ann Dorsey, David Bowie’s longtime bassist and backing singer, who heralds the album’s new direction midway through opener “You Had Your Soul With You.”"
By Rebecca Lentjes | June 13, 2018
By Anne E. Johnson | May 16, 2017
By Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim | May 15, 2017
By David Wright | April 9, 2017
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, prepared by its artistic director Dianne Berkun Menaker, proved equal to its prominent role and then some. By the choice of a children’s choir, MacMillan evidently intended to give Christ’s words an otherworldly sheen, and this chorus delivered with pure unisons, finely tuned polyphony and secure high entrances, and gave its elders some lessons in diction as well.
By Anthony Tommasini | March 9, 2017
By Russell Platt | March 24, 2017
By Eric C. Simpson | March 14, 2016
By Alex Ross | June 27, 2016
The text of Mary Kouyoumdjian’s “Become Who I Am” was based on interviews with members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, who offered thoughts on gender roles and gender inequality as well as on the importance of music in their lives. “I want to become who I am,” they sang, and the urgency of the sound seemed the fulfillment of the wish.
By Alastair MacAulay | November 4, 2015