The National The National The National

Photo by David Greenwald

The last time the National put out an album, I was going to pass on it. I’d heard Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers and wasn’t impressed. But a few friends got into it and so I started listening to it. Again. And again. And again. Eventually it overtook heavyweights like Sufjan Stevens and my bro-for-life Ryan Adams and landed on top of my best albums of 2005 list. As far as I’m concerned, nobody’s put out a better record since Alligator.

So how does the new one compare? I’ve listened to Boxer well over two dozen times now, which is more than I can say for most of the albums I own/have on my hard drive. It’s become hard for me to listen to anything else, knowing I can just put it on again. In short, this is the second masterpiece by an enigmatic, seductive band, A Ghost Is Born to Alligator’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I’ll be writing at length about this record closer to the release date and again when it obliterates my year-end lists, but I think right now we should all just soak it in. And, y’know, pre-order it.

The National – “Slow Show”: mp3
The National – “Ada”: mp3

(Boxer is due May 22 on Beggars Banquet; the band is touring with the Arcade Fire)


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