Alligator - The National
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 100
    It's their first masterpiece. [Album of the Month, May 2005, p.94]
  2. 100
    It is the sound of Interpol as reinterpreted by Tom Waits--a breathtaking album with bite.
  3. 100
    "Alligator" is easily the National's best effort and quite possibly one of this year's finest records.
  4. 91
    Berninger sounds smart and witty; but above all else, he sounds like he really went for it this time. [#15, p.105]
  5. The twilit melodies and Matt Berninger's gossamer vocals will haunt your troubled dreams. [22 Apr 2005, p.64]
  6. The National are able to pack as much power into the songs on Alligator as any of the more heralded indie-rock bands working right now, only The National have taken the common influences and grafted them into something altogether fresh and remarkable.
  7. 90
    Walks the same Cold War-era Bowery streets as Interpol but is not more than a half step away from lysergic brilliance. [May 2005, p.108]
  8. The National seems to have settled into a fine balance between the hungover brooding of Leonard Cohen and the more mellifluous tendencies of Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen.
  9. Tonally and lyrically somewhere between L. Cohen, Aidan Moffett and David Berman, Berringer's cynical, world-worn love-letters and resigned croon work perfectly with the band's rock steady rhythm-section.
  10. While Sad Songs was immediately arresting, able to knock the wind clean from those who found it, Alligator conjures the same black magic on a broader scale, readying itself to be known beyond those small circles.
User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 116 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. Mar 5, 2012
    10
    Abel, Lit Up, Secret Meeting, Mr November.... All magical. Every track on here is a National classic. Their breakthrough record and their bestAbel, Lit Up, Secret Meeting, Mr November.... All magical. Every track on here is a National classic. Their breakthrough record and their best work in my humble opinion. One of the records of the 00's. The moods of the songs swerve between a New York night out and the hangover that follows. If you've not gotten into this band yet your missing out big time. Give this a few listens and you'll be hooked on them. I remember hearing Mr November played live in Dublin a while back and it was mind blowing. Full Review »
  2. DavidR.
    Mar 29, 2008
    10
    A lot appears to have been made about this guys lyrics, with one review dedicated entirely to ripping them for being cold and dispassionate. A lot appears to have been made about this guys lyrics, with one review dedicated entirely to ripping them for being cold and dispassionate. Talk to any creative person and they will tell you art normally flows from sadness and misery. These songs are not uplifting nor are they meant to be. The album is great because it's a perfect expression of someone who admits to his patchy failures, marginal successes, and ultimately the women whom he has used to get through life. Most of the songs sound like they are written on a hungover a few days after breaking up his girlfriend. The songs are deceptively straightforward and beautifully layered, and his lyrics are thought provoking and emotionally delivered. This album truly deserves a 10 and is their best. Full Review »
  3. toms
    Apr 15, 2005
    10
    my favorite record of the year so far.