User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44

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  1. Apr 12, 2013
    8
    'Available' and 'Sugar Wife' are two of the best songs of the year. The best National album along with Boxer.
  2. Mar 29, 2012
    8
    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 andThe 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
  3. JonnyR.
    Jul 13, 2008
    8
    'Sugar Wife' and 'Patterns Of Fairytales' are manifest fillers and disrupt the fluidity of the album. "Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers" is one of the best albums of 2003
  4. DavidR.
    Jul 11, 2008
    9
    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".
  5. CollinW
    Jul 26, 2007
    10
    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
  6. GuyH
    Apr 12, 2007
    8
    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.
  7. tomp
    Mar 29, 2005
    10
    one of my favorite albums ever. tremendous depth and range.
  8. patricks
    Mar 20, 2005
    10
    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.
  9. NunoP
    Feb 17, 2005
    10
    Absolutely brilliant. Definetily one of the best albuns i ever heard in my entire life.
  10. josephb
    Sep 1, 2004
    10
    loving it
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Plunging into the desperate erotica of their Leonard Cohen-meets-Joy Division world, this Brooklyn quintet sounds both decadent and deprived when brooding about betrayal, lust, even their snappy new outerwear ("Fashion Coat").
  2. The record floats a Leonard Cohen-Robert Smith vibe or two, but references fail this outfit.
  3. To the extent that it falls prey to unnecessary pseudo-sophistication, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers comes off weak; to the extent that it maintains its own musical niche within the shattered-lover trope, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers makes the shopworn surprisingly compelling.