The National - 'Laugh Track'

7/10

Throughout the first half of 2023, we were all extremely excited for the return of The National. With their ninth LP 'First Two Pages of Frankenstein' keeping the band's legacy at the precipice of their praise and acclaim once again, they were showcasing some of their most alluring and passionate songwriting to date. So it came as quite a surprise when they suddenly released their new studio album 'Laugh Track', a record that looks to continue the aesthetic of their recent outing.

With all but one track featured on 'Laugh Track' recorded during the sessions for 'First Two Pages of Frankenstein', most would think this is simply a collection of b-sides and offcuts. And while that could be the perceived notion, much of this new offering feels just as fresh and illuminating as their previous release. With the likes of Bon Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, and Rosanne Cash featuring throughout, this new offering has just as much heart and soul threaded throughout, making for a wonderfully enjoyable listen from start to finish.

The National have never really been this creative or prolific in their twenty-year tenure, but 'Laugh Track' shows that they still have plenty of rigorous energy and ideas in which to explore. Brimming with a wondrous atmosphere throughout, they keep their reputation for vibrant songs alive once again.

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