The National - Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers
Label: Brassland – HWY-003
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Style: Alternative Rock
A1 Cardinal Song
A2 Slipping Husband
A3 90-Mile Waterwall
A4 It Never Happened
A5 Murder Me Rachael
B3 Sugar Wife
B4 Trophy Wife
B5 Fashion Coat
B6 Patterns Of Fairytales
B7 Lucky You
Rerelease of 2003 album. 12-track LP includes a poster and a download card. 500 pressed on white vinyl and sold exclusively via Brassland's online store, 2500 pressed on standard black vinyl.
Made in the U.S.A.
The title of this album is misleading. It could be called Funny Songs for Angry Lovers ....or Dirty Songs for Sad Lovers....lyrically, the songs explore different sides of relationships and there is a lot of levity..... song titles like Trophy Wife and Sugar Wife make me think the album title may be intended as a joke. Though who can say. Whatever the case, this is an interesting, intense album.
There are quiet acoustic and electronic ballads like the frst song Cardinal Song and one of the last, Patterns of Fairytales ....but also totally blistering, raging rock songs like Murder Me Rachael and Available. I am partial to the latter....but I think they wouldn't be as effective without the quiet, beautiful moments.
As far as influences, there are some hints of americana in the Wilco sense in spots (like 90 Mile Water Wall) but also Joy Division in other songs like Available. I was turned onto the National by a friend who is also a fellow Nick Cave fanatic, but I can't really compare them to any specific Cave era or album. I am more reminded at times of Leonard Cohen and even Silver Jewsand Wilco.
What I like most about this music is that it is smart and ambitious and hip without sounding overly contrived or image conscious. It seems to me that the National is not trying to sound like anyone or any particular genre (unlike most bands today). I get the feeling they are just making music as it comes to them -- without any thought to defining "a sound" that is easily marketed.
The album ranges from stripped down traditional folk sounding tunes like 90 Mile Water Wall --- which seems inspired by almost any track of Bob Dylan's Desire --- to raging rockers like Murder Me Rachael and Available --- which seem to take their cues from Joy Division and even U2 --- to intricate electronic and acoustic arrangements like Patterns of Fairytales and Cardinal Song which seem almost entirely original to my ears.....very restrained, intelligent, plaintive vocal performances combined with subtle electronic percussion and intricate, almost classical guitar/keyboard/bass/string arrangements. It will be very interesting to see where this band goes --- there is a huge amount of talent and genuine songwriting here.
THE NATIONAL - Sugar Wife
The National - Available & Cardinal Song (live at The Riverside)