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Sleep Well Beast Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 161 Ratings

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  • Summary: The seventh full-length studio release for the indie rock band was produced by band member Aaron Dessner with co-production by Bryce Dessner and Matt Berninger.
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Top Track

Guilty Party
You're sleeping night and day How'd you do it Me I am wide awake Feeling defeated I say your name I say I'm sorry I know it's not working I'm no... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Sep 6, 2017
    100
    Those invested in the band’s slow-motion refinement of simmering melancholy will find that they’ve discovered yet more fresh nuance to that sound, as they seem to every time.
  2. Sep 8, 2017
    90
    Every member of this band is wholly present and firing on all cylinders here.
  3. Sep 6, 2017
    80
    Aat large, the album is a quiet predator.
  4. Aug 31, 2017
    80
    These soft, slow songs are surrounded by cuts where the darkness opens up slightly but significantly. It's enough to make Sleep Well Beast feel like a dramatic departure in the close quarters of the National's discography.
  5. 80
    For most veteran bands, the beast is complacency. The National slays it here and stays on top of the rock world in the process.
  6. Sep 21, 2017
    80
    Sleep Well Beast is an album that rewards repeat listens and unfurls its beauty slowly over time: The National have yet again made an album that’s as brilliant as it is ambitious.
  7. 60
    Sleep Well Beast, like all The National’s albums, occupies troubled territory. These are songs about the fleeting impermanence of joy, compared to the lingering bruise of despair, and how hard it is to live in this unfairly weighted emotional space. It’s a struggle embodied in Matt Berninger’s enervated, murmurous baritone.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Sep 9, 2017
    10
    There's a moment in the life span of every great band in which they have to decide to get bored and play safe, be satisfied with theirThere's a moment in the life span of every great band in which they have to decide to get bored and play safe, be satisfied with their achievements and stop, or get uncomfortable and keep progressing. Sleep Well Beast is a strong statement revealing that The National is still up to excel itself and develop a body of work so wide like they never did it before. The album full of electronic sounds, two great guitar solos, amazing lyricism and skillful dynamics surprised me reminding me a bit of "Ok Computer" meant to me in 1997. Melancholy, feelings of longing, uncertainties of the known love and professional life, or the biased purposes of parties make evident here and much more. Definitely 10/10 if that's possible to quantify. Expand
  2. Sep 8, 2017
    10
    First, let me state that I don't think it's a 10, but a 9.5.
    I'm gonna keep it short: It's their best since Boxer. It's everything we've come
    First, let me state that I don't think it's a 10, but a 9.5.
    I'm gonna keep it short: It's their best since Boxer. It's everything we've come to expect from The National, yet a bit darker and grittier. I'm glad they started experimenting and trying new things a bit more, yet were able to write those "classic" National songs.
    I can't say I like Walk it back (although those mini-bridges between the verses are sang really well) or Empire Line but those are still pretty much - good songs.
    The rest of "the bunch" is pretty amazing with Nobody else will be there, The system only dreams in total darkness, I'll still destroy you and Dark side of the gym being the best for me.
    It's a really, really good album and surely a contender for AOTY. Can't wait to hear what these guys offer next.
    Expand
  3. Sep 11, 2017
    10
    Their best since Boxer. And I have a lot of love for "High Violet". I love how they came out of their comfort zone, and how did it work. TheTheir best since Boxer. And I have a lot of love for "High Violet". I love how they came out of their comfort zone, and how did it work. The lyrics, as usual, are great, and the production is just beautiful and brilliant. Even when we don't have a huge amount of "Strong/loud" songs, this album feels so much better than the last one. Expand
  4. Aug 6, 2018
    9
    SWB sounds utterly great. It's deep, dark, powerful, and even beautiful. The music is essentially flawless; it never misses a beat or reallySWB sounds utterly great. It's deep, dark, powerful, and even beautiful. The music is essentially flawless; it never misses a beat or really fails anywhere. The lyrics do have a bit of sameness, but they are almost always strong, sad, and even powerful. The incredible lyrics on "Day I Die" take me to new heights, and the dark lyrics on "Walk it Back" horrify and sober me. The sheer conviction heard in the vocals throughout the album make it sound amazing. "Turtleneck" is a perfect example of the lead singer's passion. Fantastic music, passionate vocals, and dark, strong lyrics make Sleep Well Beast an album for the ages. It's incredible. Expand
  5. Sep 14, 2017
    9
    On this album the band experiments with electronic music, which created a unique sound.
    The sad, but sweet and elegant songs on this diverse
    On this album the band experiments with electronic music, which created a unique sound.
    The sad, but sweet and elegant songs on this diverse album made it feels more alive than their last album 'Trouble Will Find Me'.
    The only song that didn't really speak to me is 'Turtleneck'. In my opinion the song doesn't really fit in the tracklist.
    Expand
  6. Sep 13, 2017
    8
    'Sleep Well Beast' is a very good album. Definitely one of the best that I've heard this year. I think that The National are one of those'Sleep Well Beast' is a very good album. Definitely one of the best that I've heard this year. I think that The National are one of those bands who are incapable of making an album that isn't a 7/8 out of 10. Nothing they make is ever groundbreaking (or even that different from anything they've already put out) but that's OK. This album is exactly what you would expect from The National: a very good, well fleshed out album, full of really good songs. I'd argue that nothing they've ever done has been as good as 'Boxer' which is the closest they've got to perfecting their very unique sound, but 'Sleep Well Beast' is a very good album and more than worth listening to. Expand
  7. Oct 28, 2017
    7
    It's good but there's just too much filler for me. There's 4-5 great songs and the rest are ok - good.
    I'm a massive fan but this one just
    It's good but there's just too much filler for me. There's 4-5 great songs and the rest are ok - good.
    I'm a massive fan but this one just didn't reach the heights of the last album.
    Expand

See all 17 User Reviews

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