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NATIONAL-ALLIGATOR


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Amazon's The National Store

Music

Image of album by The National

Photos

Image of The National

Biography

Trouble Will Find Me, the most self-assured collection of songs produced by the National in its 14-year career, is a tribute to fully evolved artistic vision—and, somewhat less mystically, to sleep deprivation.

Last January, following a twenty-two month tour to promote the band’s previous record, High Violet, guitarist Aaron Dessner returned home to Brooklyn, where the ... Read more in Amazon's The National Store

Visit Amazon's The National Store
for 14 albums, 8 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Label: CD
  • ASIN: B0025B99I6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,064,131 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mike Mantin on 22 April 2005
Format: Audio CD
With New York offering little in the Great Bands department last year after 2003's NY explosion, it's refreshing to see one of the year's gems straight outta Brooklyn. This, however, is no hype-fuelled hipster workout. 'Alligator' is the National's third album, their first on a major label and hopefully the one which will throw them into the mainstream, and deservedly so. It should float the boats of fans of dark, brooding post-punk (opener 'Secret Meeting) and introspective Americana (the beautiful 'Daughters Of The Soho Riots) alike. There's even a bit of welcome shouting thrown in, on fantastic single 'Abel'.
Matt Berninger provides deep, soothing vocals reminiscent of Ian Curtis and, more recently, Interpol's Paul Banks, which slot in perfectly with the high-pitch guitar noises. But the range of styles and oblique lyrics suggest there's far more on offer here than moody alt-rock. Berninger turns alt-country strummer 'Karen' into a medium for his deepest thoughts and sexual confessions. You'll notice the breezy tune first and the interesting lyrics ("Karen, put me in a chair, f**k me and make me a drink" and even more disturbing, "It's a common fetish for a doting man to ballerina on the coffee table, c**k in hand") second, giving the album substantial replay value.
Almost every track on this mini masterpiece is intriguing and listenable and there are highlights in abundance. 'Abel' boasts a great sing-along chorus of "My mind's not right!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Adam Altogether on 11 Nov 2005
Format: Audio CD
The title of this review is a line from the twelfth song on this album, City Middle, which is also where the album title comes from.
The best thing about The National is Matt Berninger, vocalist and lyricist. He has a deep voice, often compared to Nick Cave's but much more melodic, though hardened by years of heartbreak and nicotine addiction. His lyrics are bleak poetry, of lost loves and frank sexual admissions. For example in "Baby, We'll Be Fine", he recounts "I pull off your jeans and you spill Jack and Coke in my collar".
The guitar work between the two guitarists (one of the two sets of siblings in the band) is subtle and skilled, while not overwhelming the focal point of the band which is Berninger's unique voice.
There is some sublime string arrangement on this album too, without it being like a country fiddle type sound, or taking over the songs. The strings just add another layer to the music, and a certain beauty also.
Percussion is unusual. Often off-beat and strange rhythms, it always seems to strangely fit with the music, although a simple four beat rhythm would be much simpler. It is this added ambition which puts this record ahead of The National's eponymous debut and the EP Cherry Tree. Though I personally believe Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers is their finest hour, Alligator certainly comes close.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mike J. Wheeler on 11 July 2006
Format: Audio CD
I bought this a couple of months ago on the back of it being listed in my 'recommendations' on Amazon. Must admit that some of the stuff recommended is a bit duff (remarkably yesterday I was recommended 'Closer to the Edge' by prog rock dinosaurs Yes on the back of liking The Stranglers' 'Black and White'), however on this occasion Amazon came up trumps. I hadn't even heard of The National when I bought this, but reading customers' reviews convinced me to give it a try. I am so glad that I did. 'Alligator' is a remarkable album. Hard to pin down the exact genre of music this is but if you like Eels, Arcade Fire and anything like that then I'm sure that you'll like this. Someone below said it sounds like Joy Division.....hmmmm. Not really Ian Curtis, yes I can see that National singer Matt Berninger sounds a bit down but not in the same way that the suicidal Curtis did. I also don't get the comparisons with Nick Cave. Again I like Cave but this is not the same at all. Alligator is beautifully written both lyrically and musically, Berninger's deep voice perfectly accompanied by well-worked indie-type guitar music on most tracks, but some tracks also have superb string and keyboard arrangements. Standout tracks - 'Secret Meeting, 'Karen', 'Val Jester' and 'All the Wine'. This band definitely deserve a listen and this album is perfectly accessible to anyone with an ear for good music. Go buy it. (9.5/10)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 6 Jun 2006
Format: Audio CD
I first heard the National when they supported the Editors at their Brixton Academy gig last week. I must admit I was kind of taken aback (not expecting too much) to hear some fantastic songs with beautifully orchestrated melodies. The inclusion of a violin in some of the songs worked very well and blended in perfectly. To be honest, I'd pretty much decided to buy Alligator as soon as I'd heard three of four of their tracks. It was probably the best music decision I've made!

I think I can safely say that this is the best album I have bought in years. The style is quite unlike anything I have heard before - I suppose the National would fall into the indie rock genre but they set themselves apart from many of the other indie rock groups with rich, lush orchestration, deep soulful baritone vocals, and some dark, moody, but not necessarily depressing lyrics. At a push the Nationals closest neighbours are probably the Arcade Fire, but their vocals aren't as varied - unlike the Arcade Fire they seem to rely on the one lead singer. This actually works well because the lead singers voice seems to combine perfectly with the rich sound of the music.

At the moment I cannot stop listening to this album - I'll probably get the Nationals first two albums as well. My favourite tracks are Secret Meeting, Looking for Astronauts, Abel and the stand-out final track Mr November. To be honest all the tracks are great and make this album one worth listening to from start to finish. Top notch!
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