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Sleep Well Beast Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 173 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 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  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
    This very well may be the most textured and intricate National album to date. For the band to give Boxer a run for its money as their magnumThis very well may be the most textured and intricate National album to date. For the band to give Boxer a run for its money as their magnum opus is extremely impressive. Time will tell, of course, but this might just be their best record to date. Expand
  3. Sep 14, 2017
    10
    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
  4. Apr 5, 2018
    9
    After an incredible run of form where they released 4 classic albums in 8 years while touring almost continuously, The National took somethingAfter an incredible run of form where they released 4 classic albums in 8 years while touring almost continuously, The National took something resembling a break between albums number 6 and this most recent offering "Sleep Well Beast". While band members were kept busy with side projects, the band may have felt they needed some space in order to ensure album 7 was the best it could be. While their peers from the mid 00's have struggled to maintain the quality (Arcade Fire) and frequency (LCD Soundsystem) of their output, incredibly, The National have pulled off another masterstroke here. "Sleep Well Beast" is a generally mellow affair even by The National's standards. I believe this is the best album the band could have made for their fans. Their unique style is here and brings comfort in its familiarity but at the same time its the band testing boundaries if not necessarily breaking through them. Opener "Nobody Else Will Be There" is a perfect operation of restraint before the epic, admittedly National by numbers "Day I Die". Lead single "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness" is arguably the highlight of the record but it has rivals for that accolade in "Guilty Party" and "Dark Side of the Gym". More focused and cohesive than "Trouble Will Find Me", itself a great record, this latest offering has cemented The National as the great indie rock band to come out of the 21st century. Expand
  5. Mar 23, 2021
    9
    Listened to this after hearing Taylor Swift's folklore. The tracks Aaron composed for that project left me wanting for more, so I chose one ofListened to this after hearing Taylor Swift's folklore. The tracks Aaron composed for that project left me wanting for more, so I chose one of The National's albums to listen to. Well, it was nothing of what I was expecting, but still was a great experience. Love the warm feelings that songs like "Dark Side Of The Gym" brought to me. I'll definitely be listening to more The National from now on. Expand
  6. Oct 5, 2017
    8
    As a new political era started in America, artists has had their two cents on the topic. But nobody has done it so well like The National’sAs a new political era started in America, artists has had their two cents on the topic. But nobody has done it so well like The National’s Sleep Well Beast—a right mixture of politics, self-confession, and romance told in a confusing, maddening way that is comforting in its discomfort. For a political record you’d assume would be “trying”, Sleep Well Beast is a wise record and the greatest of its kind. Expand
  7. Aug 20, 2019
    6
    The National has clearly started to look for a new sound with their seventh studio album "Sleep Well Beast". While each song is near perfectlyThe National has clearly started to look for a new sound with their seventh studio album "Sleep Well Beast". While each song is near perfectly mastered to the end, it lefts patchy, unfinished feeling. They have taken more electronic sound which potential is really shown in songs like "Nobody will be there" or "the System sleeps in total darkness". But sadly it doesn't work for every song as well. They have clearly tried new things, which is always good, but which doesn't reach it's potential.

    Perhaps the darkest album of the National doesn't let the listener down lyrically. The lyrics are funny and clever yet dark as The National lyrics should be. The vocalist Matt Berning in the other hand has taken a new road. "Turtle Neck" is one of the more "rock'n'roll" songs from the band and it's the part where the album really shines. But then the song album was named after, "sleep well beast", leaves an unsure feeling. It clearly is a step for the new sound but leaves an unfinished feeling like they have tried to construct a puzzle with few pieces from different a puzzle. There are pieces that connect like "Day I Die" and "Guilty party" but then there are songs that feels like they are out of place "Walk it Back".

    Is the album peak of the National? While the album in itself is an interesting step to the new and keeps listener intrested, no. This is not the peak.
    Is the album bad? Its not the strongest show of The Nationals talent, but its not a bad album for sure.
    Is this step in to something greater? Probably. We will see what future brings.
    Expand

See all 18 User Reviews

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