The National's <em>The Virginia EP</em>

The Virginia EP: The sonic accompaniment to director Vincent Moon’s rockumentary A Skin, A Night, The Virginia EP is a welcome gift to old National fans-and a nice little bonus trinket for those who fell in love with the band following last year’s breakthrough album, Boxer. The collection-a mishmash of demos, covers, and live tracks-starts strong with previously unreleased gems “You’ve Done It Again, Virginia” and “Santa Clara” before moving into rougher territory. The lazy “Without Permission” harkens back to earlier works, while the live cuts (namely Springsteen’s “Mansion on the Hill” and “Fake Empire”) succeed in capturing the raw power of leading man Matt Berninger’s vocal prowess. Virginia complements its visual counterpart without simply rehashing what Moon captures on camera-and creates a nice little placeholder that will appease even the most ravenous of fans.


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