The National The National [CD]
Catalogue No.: 4AD0312CD
Release Date: 26th February 2021
Released a year before The National broke through with their third album ‘Alligator’, 2004’s ‘Cherry Tree’ EP is a thrilling record which - thanks to its collection of delicate ballads and anthemic crowd-pleasers - sums up what they do best in under 30 minutes. Now a firm fan-favourite, among ‘Cherry Tree’’s seven tracks are now National classics ‘About Today’ and ‘All The Wine’, plus a thrilling live version of ‘Murder Me Rachael’ that reminds of the band’s fearsome early live performances. ‘Cherry Tree’ can be seen as the record that marks the
moment when The National had truly found themselves, a bridge from what went before to a band ready to conquer the World.
The National’s second album, ‘Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers’ (2003) proved a leap forward from 2001’s eponymous debut, showing a band adept at delivering warm embraces and gut punches in equal measure. With word of mouth now spreading on the band, critics proved equally enthusiastic. Pitchfork in their glowing review called it a “Gorgeous train wreck” that “lives up to its blunt title [with] Matt Berninger’s self-effacing barbs matched by the band’s equally potent hooks,” while Uncut also became early champions, saying the album was “A genuine treasure... Livid as a bruise, this is brave, desperate, beautiful music.”
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, The National’s self-titled debut album of sozzled Americana is a thing of beauty, laden with heavy hints that this was a special band in the making. Their first release, ‘The National’ arrived two years after The National formed, a time when they were juggling bandlife with needing to hold down full-time jobs. And while nods to the alt. rock artists that inspired them (Pavement, Silver Jews) can be heard, so too are the beginnings of
something all their own - Matt Berninger’s stunning and unexpected lyrics being pinned to melodies that stop you in your tracks. The National marks the start point for one of the best bands of their generation. A great primer to a great band.
Having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, these 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasising the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the fi nest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.
Cold Girl Fever
The Perfect Song
Pay For Me
Bitters & Absolut
Watching You Well
Theory Of The Crows
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