The National Songs Ranked

The National is an American rock band of Cincinnati, Ohio natives, formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 1999. The band consists of Matt Berninger (vocals), Aaron Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards), Bryce Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards), Scott Devendorf (bass), and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Leaving behind their day jobs, the National signed with Beggars Banquet Records and released their third studio album, Alligator (2005), to widespread critical acclaim. The band’s fourth and fifth studio albums, Boxer (2007) and High Violet (2010), increased their exposure significantly. In 2013, the band released its sixth studio album, Trouble Will Find Me, which was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. In 2017 the band released the album Sleep Well Beast, which won the Grammy award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Their eighth studio album, I Am Easy to Find, was released on May 17, 2019. Here are all of The National albums ranked.

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17. Baby, We’ll Be Fine (Alligator, 2005)

“Deeply romantic, tinged darkly with regret, this is music made by men with slackened ties and bourbon breath, fixated intensely on the things they want to say, and the things they couldn’t.”

16. Humiliation (Trouble Will Find Me, 2013)

“This is the sound of a band working in perfect harmony. Every member is having an absolute stormer. Each song seems like a unified vision with every instrument having its part to play. It meshes together beautifully.”

15. Bloodbuzz Ohio (High Violet, 2010)

” Pretty gloomy but pretty perfect too. Matt’s sad vocals really bring this song to the edge and over some. A very nice song  with a great mood.”

14. Runaway (High Violet, 2010)

“I discovered this band by accident and I must say, a pleasing accident at that! Love this song. Very soothing and a wonderful harmony. There hasn’t been a song of theirs that I haven’t liked!”

13. Walk It Back (Sleep Well Beast, 2017)

” I do like the more melodic and melancholic cuts than some of the more upbeat songs in the tracklisting – though that isn’t to say that I don’t like them to a certain degree.”

See more: The National Albums Ranked

12. Available (Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, 2003)

“The song is nothing like the band had produced up to that point. Once again, it effectively mixes Post-Punk with their signature Americana sound. Once again, we can hear Berninger’s blood-curdling cries in the song’s outro.”

11. Apartment Story (Boxer, 2007)

“May not be the best The National song. Not even close. But I’m personally connected with this song in a way I have never been before. The coda is just some of the most hopeful music I’ve ever listened to. It’s like pain leaving your lungs and being replaced by fresh air when looking to the future.”

10. I Need My Girl (Trouble Will Find Me, 2013)

“The melody in the verses is some kind of rip off from Radiohead’s “Idioteque”. Apart from that, this is a pleasant song”

9. England (High Violet, 2010)

” It’s listenable, but in such a middle of the road “adult-alternative” way that it’s nothing special.  If I want some songs about being a New York hipster, I’ll take mine with at least some sense of dynamism, please.”

8. Murder Me Rachael (Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, 2003)

“”Murder Me Rachael” is a stone-cold classic in my opinion, and there are some other solid tracks here to back it up. Still, the band isn’t as refined yet as they would become; the lyrics have their moments, but aren’t nearly as consistently great as they would get later on. The same is true of the music.”

7. Slow Show (Boxer, 2007)

” kf Most enchantingly, the way how it sounds instantly personal. It’s an album that ties into your life and clicks with it. The music breathes an atmosphere that grows into your memories and takes a strong hold of the moment.”

6. Fake Empire (Boxer, 2007)

““Fake Empire” arrives softly on a bed of stately piano chords. Matt Berninger’s drawling baritone vocals provide a fitting accompaniment to the spacious arrangement and the skittering rhythm of the band’s not-so-secret weapon, drummer Bryan Devendorf.”

See more: Against Me! Albums Ranked

5. Pink Rabbits (Trouble Will Find Me, 2013)

“Heart-breaking in an abstractly pure way – perhaps it’s that little bit of extra higher pitch for a singer so often in the low tones – he’s reaching, reaching out to get out of desperation.”

4. City Middle (Alligator, 2005)

“City Middle’ was a nice change of pace as far as the instrumental pallet and includes nice choral vocals towards the back half of the track, nothing sticks out as particularly memorable from other indie bands.”

3. Terrible Love (High Violet, 2010)

“This single version is a brooding masterpiece in contrast to its rather unremarkable album appearance. It’s surprising what a little sound enhancement can do when in the right hands.  Beautiful, beautiful strings. And when the fast-paced drumming comes in on the chorus, you can actually hear each beat.”

2. All The Wine (Alligator, 2005)

“”All the Wine” sounds like a song written for a video promoting the ending of hunger in a third world country, only to be destroyed by the line “I’m a perfect piece of ass.” Well, starving children clearly want a piece of something, but it surely isn’t Berninger’s ass.”

1. Mr. November (Alligator, 2005)

Beautiful, beautiful strings. And when the fast-paced drumming comes in on the chorus, you can actually hear each beat. It’s more unpredictable, more one of a kind, and specially it helps the whole instrumentation feel like one.”