Alligator (The National album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedApril 12, 2005
RecordedTarquin Studios; Drummerman Studios; Jess and Ole's House; Headgear Studios
LabelBeggars Banquet
ProducerPeter Katis and Paul Mahajan
The National chronology
Cherry Tree
Singles from Alligator
  1. "Abel"
    Released: March 14, 2005
  2. "Secret Meeting"
    Released: August 29, 2005
  3. "Lit Up"
    Released: November 14, 2005

Alligator is the third studio album by American indie rock band The National, released on April 12, 2005 on Beggars Banquet. Recorded and produced by Peter Katis and Paul Mahajan, the album brought The National critical acclaim and increased their fanbase significantly.

Alligator appeared on many year-end top 10 lists, including Uncut and Planet Sound, both of which ranked it as the number two album of 2005. Pitchfork ranked Alligator at number 40 in their top albums of the 2000s list.[1] Alligator has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide.[2]

The band performed album track "The Geese of Beverly Road" at the wedding of producer Peter Katis. A photo of the band performing on stage, with couples dancing in the foreground, became the cover of the band's next album Boxer.

The band supported Barack Obama's presidential candidacy in 2008. In July of that year, the band designed and sold a T-shirt featuring Obama's image above the words "Mr. November," a reference to both the closing track on the album and the month of the U.S. presidential election. All proceeds were donated to Obama's campaign. The song had been written, in part, about John Kerry's candidacy four years earlier.[3]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[5]
Alternative Press4/5[6]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[7]
Mojo4/5 stars[8]
Q4/5 stars[11]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[12]
Stylus MagazineA−[13]
Uncut5/5 stars[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner, except where noted.

1."Secret Meeting" (Berninger, A. Dessner, Scott Devendorf)3:44
2."Karen" (Berninger, Bryce Dessner)3:59
3."Lit Up"2:55
4."Looking for Astronauts"3:23
5."Daughters of the SoHo Riots" (Berninger, B. Dessner, S. Devendorf)3:59
6."Baby, We'll Be Fine"3:21
7."Friend of Mine"3:25
8."Val Jester" (Berninger, B. Dessner)3:00
9."All the Wine" (The National)3:15
11."The Geese of Beverly Road" (Berninger, A. Dessner, S. Devendorf)4:57
12."City Middle" (Berninger, B. Dessner)4:28
13."Mr. November"3:57
Limited expanded edition bonus disc
1."The Thrilling of Claire"4:32
2."Driver, Surprise Me"3:20
3."Lit Up" (Remix)3:00
4."Secret Meeting" (Remix)3:45
5."The Geese of Beverly Road" (Live)4:35
6."Abel" (Enhanced Video) 
7."Lit Up" (Enhanced Video) 
8."Daughters of the SoHo Riots" (Enhanced Video) 


  • "Abel" (March 14, 2005)
    • CD single b/w: "Driver, Surprise Me" and "Keep It Upstairs"
    • 7" single b/w: "Warm Singing Whores"
    • Digital download b/w: "The Thrilling of Claire"
  • "Secret Meeting" (August 29, 2005)
    • Digital download: "Secret Meeting" (Remix) b/w: "The Geese of Beverly Road" (Live)
  • "Lit Up" (November 14, 2005)
    • CD single: "Lit Up" (Remix) b/w: "You've Done It Again, Virginia"
    • Digital download: "Lit Up" (Remix) b/w: "You've Done It Again, Virginia" and "Lit Up" (Parisian Party Version)


The National
Additional musicians
  • An-Lin Bardin – cello
  • Carin Besser – backing vocals
  • Nathalie Dessner – backing vocals
  • Rachael Elliott – bassoon
  • Peter Katis – backing vocals
  • Nick Lloyd – piano, organ, keyboards
  • Nate Martinez – additional guitar
  • Padma Newsome – viola, violin, piano, organ, orchestration
  • Sara Phillips – clarinet
Recording personnel
  • Paul Mahajan - recording
  • Peter Katis - additional recording and production, mixing
  • Greg Calbi - mastering
  • Mathieu Saura - photography
  • Distant Station Ltd. - design


  1. ^ "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 50-21". Pitchfork. 2009-10-01. Archived from the original on 16 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  2. ^ [1] Archived October 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "The National". musicOMH. 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  4. ^ "Reviews for Alligator by The National". Metacritic. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  5. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Alligator – The National". AllMusic. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  6. ^ "The National: Alligator". Alternative Press (202): 174. May 2005.
  7. ^ Weingarten, Marc (April 18, 2005). "Alligator". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "The National: Alligator". Mojo (138): 108. May 2005.
  9. ^ "The National: Alligator". NME: 58. April 9, 2005.
  10. ^ Tangari, Joe (April 4, 2005). "The National: Alligator". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  11. ^ "The National: Alligator". Q (226): 114. May 2005.
  12. ^ Hoard, Christian (April 21, 2005). "Alligator". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  13. ^ Funk, Peter (April 12, 2005). "The National – Alligator – Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  14. ^ Hughes, Robert (May 2005). "The National – Alligator". Uncut (96): 94. Retrieved November 10, 2012.