The National – Alligator (2005)

Format: CD Rip 16-44.1 FLAC | Size 313.6MB

The third album from The National, but the first to get them any major attention outside of their Brooklyn base, Alligator is the more polished, less drunken sounding set of their first three efforts.

Alligator was released in 2005 and ended up on a lot of Best of the Year lists (Uncut magazine, The LA Times, Pitchfork). Such acclaim was not surprising given there is something for everyone this time around from The National .

The somber, consoling sweetness of Daughters Of The Soho Riots; the ironic, playful, braggadocio of All The Wine; the raucous Lit Up; and the angered Abel are not so much part of a cohesive album as a grab bag of special National sounds that everyone can groove on at some level.

The boisterous and rallying Mr. November (actually written about John Kerry) even became an unofficial anthem for then Senator Barack Obama – and videos like this can still be found.

The opening track Secret Meeting has echoes of the unstructured rhythm sound The National have returned to lately on their Trouble Will Find Me LP. The drums and guitars seem to cut out at inconsistent intervals to Matt Berninger’s bass-laden vocals; but the intervals aren’t inconsistent and the song never quite loses it’s structure – a technique used impressively in 2013’s Fireproof.

Verdict: DENIED | Remaining  116,853MB

Alligator is an album I enjoy listening to. I have it on vinyl and CD and I carry it around on an iPod. For life on my Desert Island, however, I’d sooner reach for my favourite from The National, their 2001 self-titled debut. I would even accept the more recent Trouble Will Find Me or the exceptional High Violet over Alligator, so I can’t justify a spot for it.