Album review The National – “First Two Pages of Frankenstein”: Monster with Glasses

Album review The National – “First Two Pages of Frankenstein”: Monster with Glasses
Glasses from Brooklyn: Two fraternal brothers, two twin brothers, and a Frankenstein character wear glasses.

Anyone who loves Taylor Swift must love the patriotic career highlight. Not least the presence of Taylor Swift.


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The Brooklyn Quintet holds a National boring Accolade. And just to be clear: boring means in this case stable.

Both are the opposite of stagnant. Partly also as in sonorous.

Lyricist and singer Matt Beringer again suffered from heavy thoughts and writer’s ban. The Redeeming Force was shown by flipping through the first pages of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”. Hence the address.

Tragicomic, sure. Amazingly, it is in this perilous embrace of icy heaviness that The National once again finds itself on its ninth studio album.

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Many of those who took part in “Hver Gang Vi Møtes” contributed songs this week.

A creak-free ninth album could appear as The White Album (The Beatles), Glory (Britney Spears), or Yes (Def Leppard).

The National looks back, toward the subtle beauty of “High Violet,” filtered through the searching desperation of “Trouble Will Find Me” and the inner calm of “Fake Empire.”

Aaron Dessner, on the other hand, enters The Nationals at the ninth heights of the popular music industry. The guitarist and songwriter is in a band with Phoebe Bridgers, Taylor Swift has produced two covid releases and, to date, one song from Girl in Red.

Next Friday, Ed Sheeran’s upcoming fifth studio album is out, with the score revealing who’s stronger. Based on the singles, things are looking bad for Dessner.

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Taylor Swift sets new records

The 33-year-old is the first solo artist to top the US radio charts for three consecutive decades.

Likewise, he’s gotten better at combining subtle, catchy pop touches with the band’s melodious melancholy. This all-encompassing ability that only New Yorkers have to build songs that sound almost agreeable and likeable, but grows into warm, embracing acts.

That is, they are. And Taylor Swift.

Sufjan Stevens, Phoebe Bridgers, and the aforementioned Swift all contribute vocal perfection. The former seems to have been brought in as the singers’ answer to unnecessary luxury. Stevens can hardly be seen in “Once Upon a Pool”. Bridgers first appears from the background on “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend”.

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Taylor Swift (32) won all six awards for which she was nominated during tonight’s awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

On the other hand, Taylor Swift manages to turn “The Alcott” (which sounds like Swift’s song title) into the perfect blend of Brooklyn melancholy and practical chart-topping elegance, and make the nearly flawless “First Two Pages of Frankenstein” a career highlight.

Almost, because closing “Send for Me” is one of the most spoiled things Matt Berninger has ever done. The metaphilosophical existential wailing of middle school disguised as bittersweet melancholy.

Here, Aaron Dessner has apparently been hanging out with Ed Sheeran a lot. She should be allowed to name it a bit boring.

But just a little bit.

Ashura Okorie

Ashura Okorie

"Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert."

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