Twenty years on from the release of their 2001 self-titled debut album, The National are reissuing it along with 2003's follow-up Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers and 2004's Cherry Tree EP. With all three records having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 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 emphasizing the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the finest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.
The National's second album, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers 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."
No longer a secret among those that know, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers is an important record in The National's discography with this new remaster showing that it's more than standing the test of time.