Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers

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Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 2, 2003
ProducerNick Lloyd, Paul Heck, Peter Katis
The National chronology
The National
Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers
Cherry Tree

Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers is the second studio album by indie rock band the National. It was released in 2003 on Brassland Records. This is the first album on which the band worked with Peter Katis, who would produce the band's next albums Alligator and Boxer.

The album is the first to feature guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Bryce Dessner as a full member.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]
Alternative Press4/5[3]
Drowned in Sound9/10[4]
Q3/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[7]
Uncut4/5 stars[8]

The album received very positive reviews from music critics, earning a Metacritic aggregate score of 78 based on 13 reviews, indicating 'generally positive reviews'.[1]

As of 2010 the album has sold an approximate 27,000 copies in the US.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by the National.

1."Cardinal Song"6:18
2."Slipping Husband"3:22
3."90-Mile Water Wall"3:44
4."It Never Happened"4:37
5."Murder Me Rachael"3:45
8."Sugar Wife"2:21
9."Trophy Wife"3:32
10."Fashion Coat"2:02
11."Patterns of Fairytales"3:43
12."Lucky You"4:22


The National

Technical personnel

  • Produced by Nick Lloyd
  • Co-produced by Paul Heck and Peter Katis.
  • "Murder Me Rachael" produced by Peter Katis and Paul Heck; recorded and engineered by Peter Katis.
  • Basic tracks recorded by Hugh Pool at Excello.
  • Additional recording and engineering by Nick Lloyd at Gretchen's Kitchen, and by Dan Long at Hedgewear.
  • Mixed by Peter Katis at Tarquin Studios.
  • Mastered by John Loder at Abbey Road.
  • Design by Distant Station Ltd.

Additional musicians

  • Padma Newsome – viola, violin, orchestration
  • Nick Lloyd – piano, keyboards
  • Luke Hughett – vocals on "Thirsty"
  • Nate Martinez – guitar on "Cardinal Song"
  • Steve LoPresti – French horn and mellophone on "Sugar Wife"


  1. ^ a b "Reviews for Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers by The National". Metacritic. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  2. ^ DiGravina, Tim. "Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers – The National". AllMusic. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  3. ^ "The National: Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers". Alternative Press (183): 124. October 2003.
  4. ^ Anonymous, Adam (November 4, 2003). "Album Review: The National – Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (October 14, 2003). "The National: Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  6. ^ "The National: Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers". Q (211): 104. February 2004.
  7. ^ Kot, Greg (October 30, 2003). "The National: Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers". Rolling Stone (934). Archived from the original on March 5, 2004. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  8. ^ "The National: Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers". Uncut (79): 133. December 2003.
  9. ^ Herrera, Monica (April 23, 2010). "The National: Heads Of State". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 20, 2014.