The National

Alligator

repressed on vinyl with download. on the national third album and first for beggars banquet matt berninger's potent baritone still intones about matters fraught and funny and sad; about record collections, missing persons and medium-sized american hearts. but the records not simply gothic or miserablist - more like the plays of tennessee williams, its full of peculiar intimacies and awkward grace. alligator's heroes are reckless and possessed seducers, but they are apologetic ones. in the national's imaginings, in songs alternately lush and spare, there is something twilit and dreamy worked out in the basement of our brains. it has the bravado of leonard cohen and a spare elegance unheard since the triffids.