Monday, October 29, 2007

The National - Boxer

Release Date: May 22, 2007
Genre: Indie Rock

I downloaded this album when it first got leaked back in April and I quickly had it on my guilty pleasures list. The vocals are deep, the music is gentle like a quiet midnight drive to nowhere. I'm always trying to get my friends to listen to new music, but when I tried to put together a mix CD for them, I couldn't find a track on Boxer that would fit on its own. And as the year comes to a close and I try to compile my top ten albums of 2007, I realize that The National have never left my top 5.

Review: The first four tracks are just so good. The mellowness of the piano in "Fake Empire" and the drums creates a slow-motion vivid memory of your painting of the perfect world. Then with songs like "Squalor Victoria" where I have no idea what the hell he's talking about, but absolutely love the melody of it.

"Mistaken for Strangers" was one of the first songs to hit me for it's fast paced and the lyric sticks out, "You get mistaken for strangers by your own friends." A lot of times, I won't be able to understand what he's singing about, so I'll fit it in myself. I even looked it up and it's a lot of nonsense, but I enjoy his passionate voice.

My favorite song is "Slow Show," because the chorus is romantic in a weird way. But also the way the song ends with the repeating "You know I dreamed about you" in a very sorrow manner as the piano slowly dies away.

"Apartment Story" and "Guest Room" are similar because it starts with the drums and his baritone voice, which is almost like fast talking, but somewhere in the song, he'll start singing and I think it sounds amazing.

Surprisingly, my two least favorite songs, "Racing Like a Pro" and "Ada" are the two songs Sufjan Stevens played piano on. The change up between the verse and chorus aren't as great as the other tracks so it doesn't stand out as much, but it's still good.

Summary: I'm not a fan of Interpol, but Interpol is the first band I thought of because of the monotone voices. What's different is that in Boxer, the lyrics make me smile, vocals make me sad, and best of all, the temple changes gives the album great pacing. Everything works although at times the instruments attack very subtlety, it eventually kisses you on the forehead.

Key Tracks: Squalor Victoria, Green Gloves, Slow Show
Rating: 9/10

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