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Alligator by The National
Released: Apr 2005
Label: Beggars Banquet
Matt Berninger's brooding repetition of haunting phrases -- "I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders" or "This river is full of lost sharks" -- casts a spell. His delivery, not dissimilar to Lloyd Cole's, is satisfyingly unhurried and dry. Trademark slick drumming and smart instrumental cameos are icing on the cake.
Neil West