NATIONAL, THE

Alligator

Beggars Banquet

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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. All Music Guide

TRACK LIST:

  1. Secret Meeting
  2. Karen
  3. Lit Up
  4. Looking for Astronauts
  5. Daughters of the Soho Riots
  6. Baby, We'll Be Fine
  7. Friend of Mine
  8. Val Jester
  9. All the Wine
  10. Abel
  11. Geese of Beverly Road
  12. City Middle
  13. Mr. November