"Sleep Well Beast"; A Review Of The National's Seventh Effort

"Sleep Well Beast"; A Review Of The National's Seventh Effort

More of the same from The National.
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The National's "Sleep Well Beast", their seventh album and four years after 2013's "Trouble Will Find Me" is melancholic and dark just as all their previous efforts. Ditching the post-punk revival sound for a more indie rock tone, for better or for worse, The National furthermore create a more poppy and hook driven album with their latest effort.

The production is clean and dense, with poetic lyrics and intense instrumentation. Overall, The National is simply doing what they've been doing for years now, which is something they're very solid at by now. Compared to "Trouble Will Find Me", however, "Sleep Well Beast" has sharper lyricism and instrumentation, to make it an overall more enjoyable listen.

At times, however, this cannot save the album from still feeling too similar throughout its length, as they are technically just doing the same as they did with albums like "The Boxer" and "High Violet", just more unimaginative because of how long they've been trying for the same sound. Though it is still solid altogether, it seems at times like The National has run out of ideas.

The vocal melodies could be better, as the singing is rather uninteresting all too often, seeming like Berninger is mumbling more than singing. Only in songs like "Turtleneck" and "Day I Die" does the music and vocals get more energy, as The National finally realizes that they're a rock and punk based band again.

The sound The National is going for has already been beaten dead by artists such as Nick Cave, Interpol, and, ironically enough, themselves. They stood out from the crowd of boring dark post-punk indie rock at first with albums like "Alligator" and "The Boxer", but there's only so long they can keep creating the same sound before it gets boring and all sounds the same.

The hooks make up for this to a point, keeping the album interesting enough so that it doesn't drone on too much. Moments in songs such as "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness" call back to the most interesting days of the band, showing that maybe The National still has it in them to create something incredible in the future, just not now.

For now, however, it just seems as if The National, especially Berninger, are too old to being doing this at this point. There's only so much middle aged crisis and melancholia one can take before it gets too cheesy and melodramatic, and you can't stand to listen to it anymore. Sometimes, a thoroughly mediocre album is worse than a bad one. This might be one of those cases.

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The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.
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The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.


3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.


6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.


7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.


13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.


14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.


You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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8 Things That I Will Always Miss From My Childhood

Ahhh, the good old days!

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Okay, yes, I love being an adult. I can drive myself places, buy and pick out my own clothes, and basically do whatever I want. I can make my own food and eat whenever I want. And the best part is: I don't have a bedtime!

However, there are always things that I miss about my childhood.

Your Parents Buying Your Food.

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On Fridays, my mom used to take me to McDonalds or Wendy's, or whatever fast food place I wanted to go to. And obviously, she would buy my food. Then, Freshman year of College, I went to Red Lobster by myself for the first time and when I got the bill for my food, I was shocked. I was like, this much? For just me? Dear god, why? And I decided never again to take myself out to eat because I did not have the income at the time to sustain that.

Disney Channel!

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I miss the old shows like "That's So Raven" and "The Sweet Life of Zack and Cody." I lived for those shows. They were funny but focused on themes of family and friends. They were wholesome. But now all I see on TV is like, not nearly as cute or witty. I wanna go back to watching things that were funny, not watching people get killed on the news.

ICE CREAM!

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Because we live in South Carolina, it's warm out about 8 months out of the year. Therefore, my mom and I used to go get ice cream together basically every single day. I cannot think of a day where we weren't at Baskin-robins. She always got World Class Chocolate. And we would just talk. It was such a lowkey activity but it really meant a lot to me.

The Movies.

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I've always been into action movies and from the time I was in Elementary School to now, whenever they'd make any sort of Superhero movie, my father and I would go see it together. He'd even pay the big bucks so we could see it in 3D. And we'd have a little father/daughter bonding time. We'd share a popcorn and some laughs, but I always got my own large soda!

Batting Cages.

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I think it was middle school softball when my dad stopped pitching to me and started taking me to a batting cage. The first time I ever went, I was really afraid and I did terrible because I thought the balls were coming too fast. But, as with most things, the more you do them the better you get. So, I was becoming a better hitter and I got to spend Saturday mornings with my favorite man. Besides, sometimes it'd be funny when he'd put my helmet on and try to hit from the pitching machine as well.

Christmas Parade!

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Whether or not all of you know this, I hate my hometown. But the only good thing we have is our Christmas parade. When I was in high school, I had to be in it because all three high school marching bands were in it. So, that wasn't fun. What was fun was being a little kid and seeing the marching bands, dance companies, bands, pageant winners, sororities, real estate agents and Santa himself. Plus, we ALWAYS got hot chocolate either during or after the parade, except those years where it was 70 degrees.

Barbecues!

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Okay, so my dad actually makes me the best ribs in the entire world. Like I swear they could win a prize. And he also makes chicken, burgers and hot dogs. Sometimes he even grills salmon. And I miss being at home for that sometimes because he'd ask me to mix his barbecue sauce for him or form the burger patties. He even designated me the "official taste tester."

Going to Grandma's!

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Every Friday, usually after the fast food, sometimes before, my mom and I used to go to her parent's house and sit with them and talk to them. But my grandpa died when I was 8, so then it was my grandma. But we'd still go talk to her and watch TV with her. She grows tomatoes, so sometimes she'd give us those. She always had some sort of candy for us. Plus, she's the kindest person on earth, so you love being around her. In high school, I started having to go to football games every Friday and having practices, so it got harder to come by. But now, when I get the chance I try to go see her.

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