AOTY 2017
The National - Alligator
Critic Score
Based on 10 reviews
2005 Ratings: #104 / 360
User Score
Based on 202 ratings
2005 Ratings: #19
April 12, 2005 / Release Date
LP / Format
Beggars Banquet / Label
Peter Katis / Producer
Indie Rock / Genres
Your Review



There is nothing pretentious about the way Alligator reveals itself, nothing overbearing or confusing; it just slides by, always laughably good.


It is Berninger’s fragile ego and his luxuriant words which dominate, though.

Coke Machine Glow

The National make music that is the sound of hanging out for too long in too many bars in Brooklyn, drinking and talking about all the bands that every really Mattered and trying to figure out how to place themselves in the discussion. 


The National may sound like a garage band turned down, but there's as much primal energy lurking behind Alligator as in any mop-topped group of city kids with bloodstained Danelectros in a dusty warehouse.


Massed vocals and backing harmonies are two of the few things the National have added to their sound since their last album, and though Alligator is satisfying and engaging, it's not quite as bracing as their stellar sophomore outing, 2003's Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers


Musically, there’s a mix and match approach to much of Alligator that works quite well. The band excels at establishing a mood and then playing within the dynamics of the song to keep things constantly moving and fresh.

Rolling Stone

He spends the rest of this NYC band's third album rummaging among churning grooves and shambling New Wave rips, turning up depressed guitar poetry that's both elegantly wasted and kinda murky.


The material is repellant not because it presents an unsettling glimpse of life but because it is so clumsily and arrogantly executed.

Jul 15, 2013
An entirely flawless album to me. I found this album at the perfect time and it shaped my musical taste for years after.
Oct 6, 2016
Almost all songs are surprisingly moving, and sometimes even heartrending, embellished with high-quality indie rock.
Nov 27, 2012
superb American indie
Sep 29, 2017
The National are one of the biggest and most acclaimed American indie rock bands for a very good reason. They are superb at crafting the right feel for each song to make it unique and still connected. This album or Boxer is easily their best for me. Both showcase the excellent control and crafting that many bands could only dream of having. While not flawless, this is a record that will have you coming back to time and time again.
Sep 5, 2017
Three days before releasing their next album I started listening to Natioanal's former work. And I really like this one: Alligator (2005). Also The National confidently do one solid album after the other, this one is relatively rawer.
And now I'm sorry I missed you. I had a secret meeting in the basement of my brain...
Track List

  1. Secret Meeting 
  2. Karen 
  3. Lit Up 
  4. Looking For Astronauts 
  5. Daughters of the Soho Riots 
  6. Baby, We'll Be Fine 
  7. Friend of Mine 
  8. Val Jester 
  9. All the Wine 
  10. Abel 
  11. The Geese of Beverly Road
  12. City Middle 
  13. Mr. November