Sunday, June 24, 2007

Boxer - The National

Image Hosted by

The National's previous album, Alligator, received critical acclaim but precious little commercial success. If Boxer doesn't redress the second part of the equation then there is nothing much else that they can do.

Because, make no bones about it, Boxer is a fantastic record. As subtle as the Arcade Fire are grandiose, The National are everything that a modern rock band can aspire to be. The exquisiteness of the music is more than matched by the brilliance of the lyrics and evidence of that can be found on the likes of Brainy and there are songs with a genuine chance of mainstream appeal like Mistaken For Strangers which, in the space of three and a half minutes, blows away anything that, for instance, Editors have ever come up with.

The Editors comparison is a salient one in more ways that one given lead singer Matt Berninger's rich voice. Critically though his voice may be distinctive but it's never distracting; its fits in perfectly with the ambiance of the album.

If anything "bad" can be said about the record it's that it perhaps tails off slightly towards the end, but there's been so much sustained brilliance to listen to that it doesn't really matter all that much.

Quite simply this is an absolute gem.

No comments: