I've seen mp3s from The National's Alligator here and there, but haven't found two my favorite tracks from the album. It's interesting how people are drawn to different songs. I like Karen because of its little surprises - the lyrical surprise that I'll let you find, and the unexpected dissonant chords and notes. The lyrical rhythm of Friend of Mine is irresistable, and the tension created with clever drumming is ironically resolved with the calm of the disconcerting chorus: "I'm getting nervous/Nanananananana/No sign/of a friend of mine."
The entire album is solid and holds together. These songs are beautifully written. It's one of my favorite listens right now.
The National mp3s:
Friend of Mine