Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers is the second album by indie rock band The National. Released on September 2, 2003, this is the first album on which the band worked with Peter Katis, who would produce the band's next albums Alligator and Boxer.

The album is the first to feature guitarist and mult-instrumentalist Bryce Dessner as a full member.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [1]
Drowned in Sound (9/10) [2]
Pitchfork Media (8.4/10) [3]
Sputnikmusic [4]

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written and composed by The National. 

No. Title Length
1. "Cardinal Song"   6:18
2. "Slipping Husband"   3:22
3. "90-Mile Water Wall"   3:44
4. "It Never Happened"   4:37
5. "Murder Me Rachael"   3:45
6. "Thirsty"   3:48
7. "Available"   3:20
8. "Sugar Wife"   2:21
9. "Trophy Wife"   3:32
10. "Fashion Coat"   2:02
11. "Patterns of Fairytales"   3:43
12. "Lucky You"   4:22


  • Matt Berninger - vocals
  • Aaron Dessner - guitar, bass, keyboards, vibraphone, programming
  • Bryce Dessner - guitar, keyboards, vibraphone, programming
  • Bryan Devendorf - drums, percussion, vocals
  • Scott Devendorf - bass, guitar, vocals
  • Produced by Nick Lloyd.
  • Co-produced by Paul Heck and Peter Katis.
  • "Murder Me Rachael" produced by Peter Katis and Paul Heck; recorded and engineered by Peter Katis.
  • Basic tracks recorded by Hugh Pool at Excello.
  • Additional recording and engineering by Nick Lloyd at Gretchen's Kitchen, and by Dan Long at Hedgewear.
  • Mixed by Peter Katis at Tarquin Studios.
  • Mastered by John Loder at Abbey Road.
  • Design by Distant Station Ltd.
Additional musicians
  • Padma Newsome – viola, violin, orchestration
  • Nick Lloyd – piano, keyboards
  • Luke Hughett – vocals on "Thirsty"
  • Nate Martinez – guitar on "Cardinal Song"
  • Steve LoPresti – French horn and mellophone on "Sugar Wife"

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