Alligator

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
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. Berninger's wry, filthy, and often eloquently sad tales of materialism, sex, and loneliness are augmented by the stellar duel-sibling attack of Aaron Dessner guitar and Bryce Dessner guitar and Scott Devendorf guitar/bass and Bryan Devendorf drums, who flesh out each track with so many little creative flourishes that it takes a few listens to break them down into palatable portions. There are upbeat moments found within -- "Lit Up" and "Looking for Astronauts" -- but for the most part the National are content with playing the genial fatalists, and while "All the Wine" seems designed to serve as the record's desolate backbone, "Baby, We'll Be Fine," with its quick changes, lush orchestration, and winsome refrain of "I'm so sorry for everything" is, despite an elegiac delivery, Alligator's loneliest track, and like each part of this fine collection of city-weary poetry, it's as brief as it is affecting.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/12/2005
  • Label: Beggars Uk - Ada
  • UPC: 607618024123
  • Catalog Number: 80241
  • Sales rank: 1,001

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Secret Meeting (3:44)
  2. 2 Karen (3:58)
  3. 3 Lit Up (2:55)
  4. 4 Looking for Astronauts (3:23)
  5. 5 Daughters of the Soho Riots (3:58)
  6. 6 Baby, We'll Be Fine (3:21)
  7. 7 Friend of Mine (3:25)
  8. 8 Val Jester (3:00)
  9. 9 All the Wine (3:15)
  10. 10 Abel (3:36)
  11. 11 The Geese of Beverly Road (4:56)
  12. 12 City Middle (4:27)
  13. 13 Mr. November (3:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The National Primary Artist
Sarah Phillips Clarinet
Peter Katis Vocals
Padma Newsome Organ, Piano, Violin, Viola
Bryce Dessner Group Member
Rachael Elliott Bassoon
Matt Berninger Group Member
Aaron Dessner Group Member
Bryan Devendorf Group Member
Scott Devendorf Group Member
Nick Lloyd Organ, Piano, Keyboards
An Lin Bardin Cello
Carin Besser Vocals
Nathalie Dessner Vocals
Technical Credits
The National Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Peter Katis Producer, Engineer
Paul Mahajan Engineer
Padma Newsome Orchestration
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 17, 2012

    By far the National's best record and one of the best records of

    By far the National's best record and one of the best records of the 00's. Elegaic and sinister by turns, the songs bristle with untrustworthy narrators and subtle musical interplay.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of my favorites.

    Constantly listening to this one - and will be for a long time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews