Alligator

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 2 out of 129

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. 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. 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 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. Expand
  2. 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 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 andAbel, 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. Expand
  3. toms
    Apr 15, 2005
    10
    my favorite record of the year so far.
  4. MorganG
    May 10, 2006
    7
    Great instrumentals and melody, but I can't give it anything more than a 7. Ultimately, no matter how good the melody is, the downfall of the band are the shallow and stupid lyrics. Ex:"I wish that I believed in fate, I wish I didn't stay up too late", "We'll fight like girls for our place at the table", "Why did you listen to that man? That man's a balloon", "I'm Great instrumentals and melody, but I can't give it anything more than a 7. Ultimately, no matter how good the melody is, the downfall of the band are the shallow and stupid lyrics. Ex:"I wish that I believed in fate, I wish I didn't stay up too late", "We'll fight like girls for our place at the table", "Why did you listen to that man? That man's a balloon", "I'm a perfect piece of ass like every Californian", "One day when she goes, she's gone", etc... The band should try using a thesaurus for their next album. Expand
  5. Frank
    May 21, 2007
    4
    very overrated and boring. Nothing really amazing here, it just isn't memorable.
  6. alex
    May 30, 2005
    9
    a lot more difficult then their other albums - the cherry tree ep, in particular, was much more accessable, and to a lesser degree, sad songs and dirty lovers - but it's still very, very good. the best song on here, all the wine, was previously released on the ep, but the rest of the album holds up pretty well.
  7. BarryS
    Aug 4, 2005
    9
    I dearly love this album It got under my skin by the 3rd listening-pretty unusual. First time since Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments-Straight To Video album a few years back. I've made sure that everyone I know and care for that appreciates cool music hears it. Funny not one critic has compared that rich baritone to John Stewart! Remember him?
  8. Mark
    Jan 4, 2006
    9
    layered melodies and counter-harmonies help translate some poignant lyrics as demonstrated perfectly in the masterpiece The Geese of Beverly Road.
  9. PatrickF
    Sep 5, 2006
    10
    I can't believe how good this album is. I mean seriously. I had heard "All the Wine" and thought it was a great song, but never had a thought of buying the album. I figured they were a one-hit-wonder. Wow, could I have been more wrong? There is not a weak track on this album. Not one. Do yourself a favor and get this album. Like others have mentioned, give two or three listens and I can't believe how good this album is. I mean seriously. I had heard "All the Wine" and thought it was a great song, but never had a thought of buying the album. I figured they were a one-hit-wonder. Wow, could I have been more wrong? There is not a weak track on this album. Not one. Do yourself a favor and get this album. Like others have mentioned, give two or three listens and then be amazed. Expand
  10. PhilippeD
    Oct 29, 2005
    10
    Been listening since its release and have never felt bored a second. Best band right now on record and live
  11. marys
    May 22, 2005
    10
    brilliant! gets better and better with more listens.
  12. DanielCA
    May 6, 2005
    10
    Deeply melancholic, this record reminds me of dark times in which you recall past mistakes and regrets. However, there's always some inner beauty within sadness. Great with a bottle of wine, this is a perfectly unkempt album.
  13. RPeters
    Aug 25, 2005
    10
    Beautiful.
  14. SergioP
    Jan 2, 2006
    10
    The best album of 2005 plenty full of beatiful melodies...
  15. AndrewW
    Jan 10, 2007
    10
    The best album of 2005. Berninger's affecting croon sweeps you along, and the only failings here are the sequencing of the tracks (too many slow-burners from track 4 to track 9), and the slightly dull Val Jester. But with songs such as All the Wine, Lit Up, Mr. November and The Geese of Beverly Road, this album is as good as ANYTHING I own.
  16. ErikV
    Mar 2, 2007
    10
    Having wriiten this review on 2nd March 2007, I do not think many people will take this in account. Not many pople are interested in an album nearly 2 years old. Well, they are utterly wrong. I have bought this album when it came out (some 2 years ago). Since day one, I knew this one was a masterpiece! 2 years on, I am not changing my view one bit. I was, am and will be overwhelmed for Having wriiten this review on 2nd March 2007, I do not think many people will take this in account. Not many pople are interested in an album nearly 2 years old. Well, they are utterly wrong. I have bought this album when it came out (some 2 years ago). Since day one, I knew this one was a masterpiece! 2 years on, I am not changing my view one bit. I was, am and will be overwhelmed for the rest of my life. As a 40-year-old, most of my favourite albums go back to the time when I was young, handsome, smart and funny (I used to be in the arms of cheerleaders). Well this album stands firm next to the most compelling music i took with me over the years. This is a brilliant albums! Expand
  17. MarkM.
    Jan 5, 2008
    10
    Best album of 2007 (and 2005). Found out about this album through reviews of "The Boxer" (a great album in its own right) and cannot stop listening. Reminiscent of Interpol's first album with more obtuse lyrics and slightly less gloom. Along with Spoon, one of the few rock bands making great R&R music.
  18. SteveC
    Mar 13, 2008
    10
    Simple - One of the best albums of all time.
  19. JB
    Oct 10, 2005
    10
    This record isn't getting as much critical recognition as the Nats' contemporaries--Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Arcade Fire--but this stuff is every bit as good if not better. There's something haunting, Baroque and incredible about this album. It's carved a place, as the Nationals would sing, "in the basement of my brain."
  20. JaneP
    Nov 28, 2005
    10
    Astonishingly accomplished and soulful.
  21. DanD
    Dec 28, 2005
    7
    Four incredible songs (Abel, Lit Up, Mr November and All The Wine) which are among the best anyone has recorded this century; you can live without the rest.
  22. BrentU
    Apr 18, 2005
    10
    A brilliant record! Dimensional, well-produced, and well-written pieces of American rock music.
  23. daveh
    Apr 20, 2005
    4
    granted the lead singer has an effecting voice, but this disc is so banal and lifeless - i can think of half a dozen bands doing this much better with much more interesting chord changes and guitar work. i think rolling stone and pop matters had it right. pop matters - a little harsh but not far off. the others all wanna jump on the 'isn't it great' bandwagon.
  24. JaxonR
    Apr 22, 2005
    10
    An immediate contender for the top of the end of year "Best of..." lists
  25. sarah
    Apr 25, 2005
    10
    beautifu and intense
  26. WillL
    May 22, 2005
    10
    Just freaking awsome
  27. natej
    May 25, 2005
    10
    takes some time to get into...but onced you do, it's just amazing
  28. ajprimo
    Jun 2, 2005
    10
    first time i ever post here and it's just to say that thus far this is the best album of 2005. give it a chance (2-3 listens) though.
  29. JeromeG
    Jun 29, 2005
    9
    Great follow up to Sad Songs. The National must be the best band that hasn't made it huge out there right now.
  30. JoshB
    Jun 9, 2005
    10
    It seems like everyone's catching on to the gist of the reviews of this album. It takes a few listens to get into ALLIGATOR, but once you do, it's simply brilliant. A very rewarding listen that should find its way onto a lot of year-end lists, including mine.
  31. MusicMaven
    Jul 13, 2005
    8
    The National are hard to pin down. The lead singer's deep baritone enhances the poetic lyrics. The band is tight throughout. The ballads are elegiac, and the rockers are punchy. I've heard The National described as indie, sadcore, and alt-country, but the only label that makes sense to me is Americana. They take the best of classic American music and update it with their own The National are hard to pin down. The lead singer's deep baritone enhances the poetic lyrics. The band is tight throughout. The ballads are elegiac, and the rockers are punchy. I've heard The National described as indie, sadcore, and alt-country, but the only label that makes sense to me is Americana. They take the best of classic American music and update it with their own modern stamp. Their whole album is currently available for streaming (in reasonable fidelity) from the the Beggars website (Google search for 'the national alligator'). Expand
  32. ScottY
    Jul 9, 2005
    8
    This is a pretty amazing album. They're hard to describe, but it only took 2 - 3 listens to get into them. They have a Crash Test Dummies vocal sound to them, and their music is sort of like a mellow Snow Patrol. The album starts off really strong as the first 5 or so songs are really solid.
  33. IsraelB
    Sep 24, 2005
    10
    One of the best albums of 2005, definitely The National's best.
  34. ElizabethP
    Mar 21, 2006
    7
    This is a good album but by no means is it great. Some of the songs have dense lyrics and some tracks don't have any direction. There are points where the music begins to build up but then just plateaus out, never reaching the climax. Despite all this, there are some beautiful songs, my favorite being "the Geese of Beverly Road."
  35. JakeW
    Aug 1, 2006
    10
    I'm about as picky as they come as far as music, but I can't really find much wrong with this album. I'm really curious what those who rated this a 6 or a 7 think is a great album. I read some of those user comments and I still have no idea what exactly is deficient about the lyrics quoted.
  36. JoshuaK
    May 21, 2007
    10
    One of the very best albums in recent memory. The sometimes absurd lyrics add character and a touch of humour to the consistently great songs.
  37. SeanO.
    Jul 12, 2007
    10
    I listen to an awful lot of music and this is one of the most wonderful albums I've come across in a long long time. Wonderful subtle and quirky lyrics, great voice and excellent music. "Just say something perfect, something I can steal Say, look at me Baby, we'll be fine All we've gotta do is be brave and be kind".
  38. JonnyR.
    Jul 13, 2008
    9
    The National decided to leave three of their best songs off Alligator: 'Warm Singing Whores', 'The Thrilling of Claire', and the exceptional 'Driver, Surprise Me' were all scrapped. However,
  39. WillA
    Nov 27, 2005
    10
    Ive listened to this probobly more than 100 times, and i still love it more than the first time.
  40. bobs
    Apr 15, 2005
    10
    brilliant!
  41. [Anonymous]
    Apr 15, 2005
    9
    A near perfect album. Not as good as Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, but close.
  42. daysleeper
    May 28, 2005
    10
    I haven't heard a better record this year. And I seriously doubt it that I will... Anyone who can listen to The Geese Of Beverly Road without being moved should have their ears (and their hearts) checked. .. This is a truly amazing record. And yes, it's even better than Sad Songs...
  43. JL
    Aug 19, 2005
    9
    This marvelous album didn't need to grow on me; it floored me right out of the box (although it unwisely puts the weakest song first), and I almost literally can't stop listening to it as it continually gains dimension. As someone who grew up on Joy Division, I find those comparisons facile and silly -- certainly The National have their post-punk influences, but they are This marvelous album didn't need to grow on me; it floored me right out of the box (although it unwisely puts the weakest song first), and I almost literally can't stop listening to it as it continually gains dimension. As someone who grew up on Joy Division, I find those comparisons facile and silly -- certainly The National have their post-punk influences, but they are completely themselves on this album and completely comfortable in their own painful skin. Just glorious, end to end. Expand
  44. matta
    Jan 11, 2006
    10
    Not that it really matters, but if it weren't for the Popmatters review, this album would've have most likely been on the Metacritic top thirty albums of 2005, as it surely deserved to be considering all of the top ten lists it has appeared on. Truly amazing album filled with gorgeous melodies and haunting arrangements. One of five near-perfect albums of 2005 along with Wolf Not that it really matters, but if it weren't for the Popmatters review, this album would've have most likely been on the Metacritic top thirty albums of 2005, as it surely deserved to be considering all of the top ten lists it has appeared on. Truly amazing album filled with gorgeous melodies and haunting arrangements. One of five near-perfect albums of 2005 along with Wolf Parade, Okkervil River, Sufjan Stevens, and Bloc Party. Expand
  45. Gregg
    Feb 26, 2006
    9
    Excellent album, one of the best releases in the past few years. I will agree with Popmatters 2nd review...it slowly dawns on you, and when it does, you will love it forever. 'All the Wine' and 'Geese' are certainly masterpieces.
  46. ScottW
    May 22, 2006
    6
    I've got the same complaint as everyone else. This album is a beautiful dream that is once in a while interrupted by lines like "I have weird memories of you pissing in a sink, I think."
  47. TomM
    May 22, 2006
    10
    This was one of my favorite albums of the last year, and I give it a very strong recommendation. Listen to this a few times, and you'll be utterly captivated.
  48. Kyle
    Jun 13, 2007
    9
    All the National do is make great albums.
  49. May 23, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. How I adore Rolling Stone's failed reviews.. easily one of the decade's defining albums. The record that got us all into Matt Berninger. How can any album have the nerve to begin and end with songs that will forever be in your top 50? Great, Great LP. Expand
  50. Apr 12, 2013
    6
    A step backwards from 'Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers': arrangements and melodies are worse than on the previous album.
  51. Sep 21, 2014
    10
    The comparisons of this album to it's follow-up, Boxer, are pointless. Where Boxer is a slow-burner, Alligator is bombastic. Where Boxer is more subtle, Alligator is a rocker from brilliant opener to the last yells of "I won't **** us over!" on the closing track Mr. November. The highlight of the album has to be the beautiful, sprawling Geese of Beverly Road. The lyrics "Come be myThe comparisons of this album to it's follow-up, Boxer, are pointless. Where Boxer is a slow-burner, Alligator is bombastic. Where Boxer is more subtle, Alligator is a rocker from brilliant opener to the last yells of "I won't **** us over!" on the closing track Mr. November. The highlight of the album has to be the beautiful, sprawling Geese of Beverly Road. The lyrics "Come be my waitress and serve me tonight/serve me the sky tonight./Oh come, come be my waitress and serve me tonight,/Serve me the sky with a big slice of lemon." Only the National could make being a waitress seem so romantic. Expand
  52. May 8, 2016
    10
    Emotional perfection! More polished than the first two albums, but not the emotionless mechanical "perfection" of Boxer and TWFM. Beautiful abstract lyrics and dark sound. Geese of Beverly Road is masterpiece, and they killed the font and album cover design.
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
    "Alligator" is easily the National's best effort and quite possibly one of this year's finest records.
  2. [A] fine collection of city-weary poetry.