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We Reviewed the National’s New Album Because We Couldn’t Find a Coffee Shop in Town That Wasn’t Playing It

We never intended to write this review, but since every coffee shop within walking distance is playing it, here is our review of The National’s latest album “The First Two Pages of Frankenstein.”

We’re not sure what goes on in the first two pages of “Frankenstein” the novel because we used Quizlet to write our book reports in high school, so if these songs are a nod to that, it’s lost on us. But if the first two pages of “Frankenstein” the novel are anything like this album, then they aren’t very interesting.”

The National’s ninth studio album was highly anticipated, as it’s their first real project together after taking some time apart to work on other projects, which had some questioning their future as a band. It also features big names like Sufjan Stevens, Phoebe Bridgers, and Taylor Swift, which is probably really exciting if you describe yourself as quirky.

We stuck around the first shop we went to to check out a few songs. One of them is called “New Order T-Shirt,” which we would see six of at the three coffee shops we visited throughout the day. Like the two tracks before it, it was forgettable but it wasn’t bad. We left to try a different coffee shop during “This Isn’t Helping.” This is the first track Phoebe Bridgers is on, and her addition wasn’t hurting the song, but it ironically was not helping either.

We didn’t hear “Tropic Morning News” or “Alien” due to our trek to the coffee shop down the street, but we’re going to go ahead and assume they are both pretty drab. We got to the next stop and ordered a cold brew, which was seven dollars for some reason, and this place had the album on too. We got there just in time to catch “The Alcott” featuring Taylor Swift. It’s undeniable that she and Matt Berninger sing very well together. We liked this one, and we’re not just saying that to impress our Hinge matches.

We left during “Grease In Your Hair” because Google said there were still three more tracks after it, which we didn’t feel like sticking around for. We went to the place across the street and low-and-behold, “Ice Machines” was just starting. It was like every barista in the city called each other up that morning and were like “hey, let’s all try and make our shops even more unoriginal than usual.” Feeling defeated, we stayed.

“Your Mind Is Not Your Friend,” the other song Phoebe Bridgers is on, was good. The final track “Send For Me” gives some staying power to an otherwise unenticing album. We thought about hanging out for a bit, but they just started the album over again. We’re going to give this one a solid 4.5, and we’ll be making coffee at home for a while.