Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the second album for the Brooklyn- (formerly Ohio-) based indie rockers fronted by singer Matt Berninger.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 90
    The musicianship lifts Sad Songs... even further into the realm of the extraordinary. [Dec 2003, p.133]
  2. It’s the sound of forbidden affairs, illicit sex with strangers in bars, drunken confessions, of real life. And it feels fantastic.
  3. Each of the dozen laments on Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers balance catchy choruses, exquisite instrumental interludes, and the complex words of a man's grieving.
  4. The record floats a Leonard Cohen-Robert Smith vibe or two, but references fail this outfit.
  5. What easily could have been a tired retread of rock snob classics instead makes use of the past to provide a recognizable framework in which to deal with the emotional rescue necessary after a damaged romantic relationship.
  6. This is a very minor-chord affair. [Feb 2004, p.104]
  7. The album is plagued by overcooked production, and these are the type of songs--confessional, despairing--that are best served rare. [#5, p.114]

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. patricks
    Mar 20, 2005
    A cracking album full of heartbroken songs. The range and style of music on this album is breathtaking. This is mood music that you'll want to hear over and again. Will appeal to fans of the Czars. Expand
  2. tomp
    Mar 29, 2005
    one of my favorite albums ever. tremendous depth and range.
  3. CollinW
    Jul 26, 2007
    Especially when considering the more polished sound of their later albums, Sad Songs is a refreshingly raw and real album. If you can listen to it without becoming intoxicated by Berninger's lullabys, then you need to have your ears checked. 10/10 Expand
  4. DavidR.
    Jul 11, 2008
    Tremendous lyrics, especially on the first track. Some of the tunes get a little bland near the middle but overall it's understated brilliance that takes a little while to "get". Expand
  5. GuyH
    Apr 12, 2007
    The first three songs, 'Thirsty' and 'Lucky You' are all top notch and if the rest of an equally high standard I'd give this album a 10. Unfortunately the other songs, while perfectly good, never quite reach the same heights. Expand
  6. Mar 29, 2012
    The album before their holy trinity of Alligator/Boxer/High Violet. Sad Songs is a good album but my least favourite of The National's 5 records so far but its still very strong. Lyrically it's spot on but occasionally it lacks imagination musically. There are a couple of mid tempo countryish tracks that don't particularly add anything to the record. Although I love The National's slow and mid tempo stuff on other records, here the band sounds better on the more up tempo tracks. That said - these are small complaints and there is a lot more to praise on here than there is to pick at . Murder Me Rachel and Slipping Husband show some of the brilliance that followed on Alligator and the final track "Lucky You" really finishes the album off nicely. Expand
  7. Apr 12, 2013
    'Available' and 'Sugar Wife' are two of the best songs of the year. The best National album along with Boxer.

See all 10 User Reviews