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Alligator Turns Ten Years Old (Photos by Vincent Moon)

“It sounds extremely strange, but it’s sometimes easy to forget that Alligator is a perfect album. Understated even at its loudest points, there’s something about The National’s second studio album that lends itself to immersion. Matt Berninger’s baritone, world-weary tone lulls you into a safe place full of slow-burning hooks, black-and-white pianos and unassuming rhythms, and it’s a world that, for all its unique facets, feels familiar and warm. The imagery is downbeat, evoking smoky rooms and rainy days before any burst of colour; the melodies are narrow, traditional and comfortable. It’s difficult because it’s so easy; everything about Alligator sets itself up gently, knocking at the panels in your head and waiting for them to move.” [x]