The National
Boxer


4.5
superb

Review

by larrytheslug USER (6 Reviews)
January 7th, 2013 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Boxer kid.

The separation of ideas and understanding between Alligator and Boxer is just as confusing as trying to interpret the two albums. Where the former yields carefree songwriting in cohesiveness, Boxer brings to the table a new reality, that of the “unmagnificent lives of adults”. There comes that point in one’s life where the transition to adulthood seems to hit specifically towards expectation of what a person should strive to become. That being said, I wonder the circumstances that led each of the five members of The National to exist in the place they were in during the recording process of this record?

Boxers’ presentation of lyrical adaptations and whims carries much like that of its predecessors. Songs are quotable, full of blunt charm and wit, and consist too of tales of failed love story, heartbreak, and further hope for a brighter future. More importantly, the record sets itself apart as an individual piece of work. Boxer is something that stands apart and brings aspects completely new to the band’s discography. The boundaries are pushed to limits that expand beyond the perpetual heartache nature of The National’s work before. Production takes a huge step forward as well, handled by contributions from Peter Katis, as well as the inclusion of new instrument ensembles of violins and horns as heard in songs such as “Fake Empire” and “Slow Show”. Song writing continues to be a strong suit too, touching on familiar melancholy experience, but also an outlook pressing forward to new insights and joys of life as it comes.

“Turn the light out say goodnight
No thinking for a little while
Lets not try to figure out everything at once
It's hard to keep track of you falling through the sky
We're half-awake in a fake empire
We're half-awake in a fake empire”

The cover of Boxer itself comes from a photograph shot at Katis’ wedding, featuring all five members of the band performing. Interpretation of the photograph has many implications, but in essence, it binds the overarching themes of the record perfectly, in subtle expressions of deep thought and temporary disconnection from the world around. That is what Boxer is in a nutshell; it provides the time to temporarily escape the pressures of the world and ponder individual purpose in growing older. There is a pervading fear of what is in store, and that reigns true in lyrics. “I’ll get money, I’ll get funny again”, is a charming and anxious cry sung by Matt Berninger, entailing an internal expectation of self-worth in “Start a War”. The song speaks to how a person goes through change in state of mind, simply in the hope of becoming something greater, a contributing member of society.

I like to think that Matt Berninger truly finds a sense of mission in being the wonderful lyricist and singer that he evolved into. It is a mystery as to what the band would be above all else if not having existed at all. It speaks to the personal passion and work ethic of The National finding what curbs the uncertainty of stepping into the adult world. Consider the formulation of ideas on Boxer as a glass half full approach to life, as compared to that of a pessimist. This record is an accomplishment of grand proportions, fulfilled in large part due to the full-fledged fervor for satisfaction of life goals and dreams. The National persevered to create a masterpiece of adult scale and class in great trial and ache, but even greater reward.



Recent reviews by this author
Lost In The Trees Past LifeBlack Knights Medieval Chamber
The Magnetic Fields 69 Love SongsThe National Alligator
The National The National
user ratings (1780)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Sam Feldman (1.5)
    Insipid....

    Blair Chopin (5)
    you're the tall kingdom I surround, think I better follow you around...

    Tom Gellatly (5)
    The National's true masterpiece, that managed to do everything its successor did, but with...

    STOP SHOUTING! (5)
    you know i dreamt about you for twenty nine years before I saw you....

  • Dr Hank Paulson (3.5)
    A torch held aloft in a dark, uncertain landscape, lighting a pathway for us all...

    Adam Thomas STAFF (5)
    Another uninnocent, elegant fall into the unmagnificent lives of adults...

    wjcynx1 (4)
    The National continue to impress with their fourth effort; Boxer might not be immediate, b...

    Andrew H. EMERITUS (4.5)
    Nearly flawless in execution, Boxer is The National's second masterpiece and a near-classi...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iamthe Nightstars
January 7th 2013


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I find this album to be a bit overrated on here. It's been a while though I'll have to re listen to it soon.

tommygun
January 7th 2013


25413 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

larry my man nice review, congrats on your first! pos

don't really dig this band though

foxxxythnksustnk
January 7th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

tommy =[

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2013


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

favourite National album, though I've been digging the shit out of Sad Songs and Dirty Lovers. Talk about underrated.

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2013


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Coldplay is "cool" to like and if you disagree then you spend too much time on internet discussion boards and not enough time getting your dick sucked by attractive women.

tommygun
January 7th 2013


25413 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

foxxxy I've only heard a couple of songs and they didn't do much for me but I am willing to give them another chance which one should I get

foxxxythnksustnk
January 7th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this one for sure is best alligator may be easier to get into tho

tommygun
January 7th 2013


25413 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

will get both sweet

also coldplay gets the ladies, aids knows what's up

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2013


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"alligator may be easier to get into tho"

disagree, that's their least accessible album. it was for me anyway, though I grew to love it (obviously).

foxxxythnksustnk
January 7th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

alligator is more varied i had trouble staying interested in boxer at first that is my basis of my hypotenuse

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2013


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

did you square both sides?

imo Boxer and High Violet are their most accessible, and, incidentally, best albums.

I mean if you don't love Apartment Story, Slow Show, Bloodbuzz Ohio, England (etc.) on first listen then you have no soul

in that one I integrated to get the area under the curve and then I cubed my answer and that was the length of the two equal sides of that last isosceles triangle we were talking about. agreed.

foxxxythnksustnk
January 7th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

well dammit he will listen to boxer nd he will listen to alligator nd we will have our conclusion ok sounds good its all u now tommy

foxxxythnksustnk
January 7th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ps agreed

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2013


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

agreed

Ire
January 7th 2013


41828 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

disagreed

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2013


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hmm

shallow and pedantic

tommygun
January 7th 2013


25413 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah dude I think you meant hypothesis but w/e

I'll report back once I've heard both and then we will indeed have a conclusion

DirEnRefused
January 7th 2013


2241 Comments


I really want to like The National, but I just find them dull.

TheNexus100
January 7th 2013


2591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol

Digging: Slowblow - Slowblow

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2013


6515 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm still not sure whether sentences like

Boxer is something that stands apart and brings aspects completely new to the band’s discography.

are meant to be poetic or just suffer from bad grammar.

Either way, nice review man.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy