Alligator Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 146 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the third LP for the Brooklyn five-piece fronted by deep-voiced Matt Berninger.

Top Track

Mr. November
This is nothing like it was in my room In my best clothes Trying to think of you This is nothing like it was in my room In my best clothes The... See the rest of the song lyrics
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. 100
    It is the sound of Interpol as reinterpreted by Tom Waits--a breathtaking album with bite.
  3. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    The twilit melodies and Matt Berninger's gossamer vocals will haunt your troubled dreams. [22 Apr 2005, p.64]
  4. Painstakingly crafted, casually baroque music for people who get off a little bit on feeling blue.
  5. [A] fine collection of city-weary poetry.
  6. Part of the problem with Alligator is that it echoes so many other records, but part of its satisfaction is that it sets itself apart so well.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 53
  2. Negative: 0 out of 53
  1. JaxonR
    Apr 22, 2005
    10
    An immediate contender for the top of the end of year "Best of..." lists
  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. Expand
  3. 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 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... Expand
  4. 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 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. Expand
  5. 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 isThe 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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 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. Expand

See all 53 User Reviews