Dec 20, 2023

best of 2023 • The National • First Two Pages of Frankenstein

First Two Pages of Frankenstein isn’t a portrait of triumph—that would be too easy. Instead, it’s a depiction of someone made unsteady from their time away, but nonetheless desperate to connect: less with an entire arena than someone in the passenger seat. PF

After two back-to-back albums and several busy years of touring, First Two Pages of Frankenstein was initially stalled while lead singer Matt Berninger navigated, “a very dark spot where I couldn’t come up with lyrics or melodies at all… Even though we’d always been anxious whenever we were working on a record, this was the first time it ever felt like maybe things really had come to an end.” Instead, The National “managed to come back together and approach everything from a different angle, and because of that we arrived at what feels like a new era for the band,” according to guitarist/pianist Bryce Dessner, whose bandmates also include his brother Aaron (guitar/piano/bass) as well as brothers Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).

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