Album Review of Alligator by The National.

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The National

Alligator by The National

Release Date: Apr 12, 2005
Record label: Beggars Banquet
Genre(s): Indie, Rock

80 Music Critic Score
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Alligator - Very Good, Based on 2 Critics

AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10

The National may sound like a garage band turned down, but there's as much primal energy lurking behind Alligator as in any mop-topped group of city kids with bloodstained Danelectros in a dusty warehouse. While Matt Berninger's lyrics and conversational delivery rely heavily on the kind of literate self-absorption that fuels so much of the indie rock scene today, he never comes off as preachy or unaware that the world would manage just fine without him; rather, he uses metaphor and humor as bullet points for a profound sense of displacement and anger. Out-of-the-blue statements like "f*ck me and make me a drink," from the brooding but lovely "Karen," are effective because the listener is brought into the story slowly, almost amiably, before being led to the plank.

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Dusted Magazine
Their review was only somewhat favourable

Alligator is the third release from Brooklyn based five-piece The National, and their first for venerable UK label Beggars Banquet. The move to an English label and extensive European touring, along with a better European reception for their sophomore effort Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers seems to have further distanced The National’s sound from their Americana-tinged self-titled debut. The slight electronic touches that graced Sad Songs are gone, replaced by a more straightforward guitar-driven post-punk sound, with bigger choruses and flashier production courtesy of longtime collaborator Peter Katis, who also produced Interpol’s two full-lengths.

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