The National’s “Laugh Track”: Surprise Release Garners Global Attention

A Symphony Of Collaboration and Evolution

The indie rock world was recently taken by storm with the unexpected release of “Laugh Track” by The National. This album, which dropped on September 18, 2023, under the 4AD record label, has been described as a harmonious blend of the band’s signature style with fresh, innovative elements.

“Laugh Track” is not just another album in The National’s discography; it holds special significance. It was primarily penned alongside their April release, “First Two Pages Of Frankenstein.” This close chronological connection between the two albums offers fans a unique listening experience, allowing them to witness the band’s evolving musical journey within a short span.

One of the standout features of “Laugh Track” is its star-studded guest list. The album boasts collaborations with renowned artists such as Bon Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, and Rosanne Cash. These collaborations add layers of depth and versatility to the tracks, making each song a unique auditory experience.

Critics have lauded the album for its organic cohesiveness. The members of The National have showcased a closeness in this album that reflects individual growth while maintaining the essence of the band. This unity is evident in the collection of songs, which are predicted to stand the test of time.

Table of Contents


1Alphabet City3:43
2Deep End (Paul’s in Pieces)4:29
3Weird Goodbyes (feat. Bon Iver)5:03
4Turn off the House4:35
6Laugh Track (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)4:24
7Space Invader6:58
9Coat on a Hook4:58
10Tour Manager4:26
11Crumble (feat. Rosanne Cash)4:35
12Smoke Detector7:47

The album has been described as sitting at the center of all of The National’s works. It neither expands their sound like 2019’s “I Am Easy to Find” nor reverts to the straightforward indie rock of 2007’s “The Boxer.” Instead, it beautifully encapsulates the essence of the band, with each member complementing the others, none overshadowing the rest.

However, it’s not just the critics who are singing praises. Recent news from various sources indicates that fans are equally enamored with “Laugh Track.” The album’s moody single ‘Alphabet City’ has been highlighted for its captivating string arrangements and subtle electronic elements. Moreover, the closing track “Smoke Detector” has been appreciated for its raw energy, a refreshing change from the band’s usual style.

While some believe that the album showcases a more muted vocal delivery from frontman Matt Berninger, others find this downcast directness compelling. The album does hint at the band’s previous works, with familiar chords and themes making appearances. Yet, the fresh approach and collaborations make “Laugh Track” a distinct piece in The National’s repertoire.

“Laugh Track” is a testament to The National’s ability to evolve while staying true to their roots. It’s a must-listen for both long-time fans and newcomers to the indie rock scene.


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