Customer Review

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bold, bruising and elegant - a superb album..., 22 Feb 2008
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This review is from: Boxer (Audio CD)
Having bought "Alligator", the previous album by The National, and being so unimpressed by it my (anonymous) Amazon review currently has 43 "unhelpful" markings next to it. I therefore completely ignored "Boxer" for several months after its release.

Only by catching a youtube clip of the band playing "Fake Empire" on the David Letterman show did I do one almighty double take. Was this really the same band? The sound was definitely the same, but my main objection of old (namely singer Matt Beringer's occasionally clumsy lyrics) had been wiped away in around 3 minutes of The National crafting a brilliant, understated, glorious and elegant hymn to...well, whatever "Fake Empire" is actually about (I confess, I don't know).

Was the album going to be as equally as impressive? Well it is. It's actually superb. I can't believe it's the work of the same band - or, as you might quite rightly argue, surely they've always been this great and I'm the one with cloth ears.

Either way, I strongly recommend "Boxer". It is an indie album where you should relish the pleasure in slowly understanding it. The songs are not immediate, in-your-face anthems. Each songs' highlight is so subtle you might miss it the first time around - but there is intelligent, well crafted musicianship here (particularly in Bryan Devendorf's impressive drumming - which is never fussy, but actually has a personality all of its own) and an impressive collection of well sequenced songs.

It's a rich, complex record - and that it was ignored in end of year polls by magazines such as Uncut and Mojo is a travesty. This is music you'll still be learning a year from now.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Nov 2010 00:51:32 GMT
I completely agree I dont understand why Alligator is the breakthru I have four albums with the other one in the post and so far Alligator is the weakest by far and Boxer the strongest by a long chalk
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Review Details

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4.6 out of 5 stars (56 customer reviews)
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Reviewer

Ben
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Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,870