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Laugh Track by The National

The National

Laugh Track

Release Date: Sep 18, 2023

Genre(s): Pop/Rock

Record label: 4AD


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Album Review: Laugh Track by The National

Acceptable, Based on 2 Critics

Sputnikmusic - 54
Based on rating 2.7/5

Apology ha ha? Once upon a poolside, early assessments of a new National album seemed to chart the state of indie as a whole: frontman Matt Berninger's gin-soaked ruminations on the mundane were a cryptographic key for a thousand B-listers' fumblings after love in an age of despondency; the Dessner brothers' meticulous arrangements made for one of the most refined less-is-more approaches to contemporary verse/chorus songwriting; drummer Bryan Devendorf's formidable performances brought a masterful sense of urgency to songs otherwise epitomised restraint. No other band of their profile seemed as capable of saying so much with so little, and thus we forensically examined each and every one of their fresh happenings as the apparent latest paving stone on indie's most well-to-do promenade - right up until 2017's comparatively experimental Sleep Well Beast, that is. Cut to the present, and the National have seemed less and less like a band firing on all cylinders, and increasingly franchise-esque.

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Clash Music
Opinion: Fantastic

Born from a soundcheck in Vancouver, the tenth studio record from The National has arrived. The second half and closing chapter of a double album starting with 'First Two Pages of Frankenstein' in April, 'Laugh Track' has been a surprise that is still sinking in for many, especially those at their Cincinnati homecoming shows over the weekend, and what better backdrop for this unexpected unveiling? Happy accidents formed through the group freestyling and playing around, assisted by lines of songs buried deep in pockets for years with a fresh outlook to prompt them to sing it aloud, 'Laugh Track' was workshopped in June. From an intimate moment of gathering came an investigative and spirited set of songs signalling an end and a beginning.

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