Wednesday, January 27, 2010

8. Alligator - The National (2005)

When it comes to brooding, introspective indie-rock that, you know, still rocks, The National are in a league of their own. I easily could have included Boxer – or, for that matter, Cherry Tree EP - aboard this Top 50 to stand in Alligator’s place yet neither record would’ve landed as prominently. This 2005 release contains all the lyrical wit and complexity that its periphery releases boast but Alligator wields sharper edges, deeper emotions, and the willingness to combust when the timing’s right. Even the accomplished restraint of Boxer can’t rival vocalist Matt Berninger’s bellowing cry as ‘Mr. November’, the way his lyrics intertwine with elegant piano-chords on ‘Karen’, or how the whole band charges head-first into ‘Abel’. Picking a favourite National record might be like picking a favourite offspring but, at the end of the day, the one that relives the fondest memories takes the cake. Yeah, clearly I have no kids.

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