Boxer - The National
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Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 261 Ratings

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  • Summary: Sufjan Stevens is among the guests on the Brooklyn band's follow-up to their acclaimed 2005 release 'Alligator.'
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. The National were worried that they wouldn't be able to follow up Alligator, that fans would be disappointed. Boxer proves their fears ungrounded - and that Alligator was no one classic wonder.
  2. To be succinct and frank, Boxer is superb. Not only did The National create a startling, astonishing work of genius but they also crafted an album that is one beautiful piece of art.
  3. It is the subtle orchestral aspect to the record that stands out, with the same washed arrangements that Grizzly Bear and close cohorts Clogs manage to incorporate so casually.
  4. Sometimes, the hype is right. [Jul 2007, p.170]
  5. It gathers momentum slowly, making for a brew so quietly potent and pulsating with repressed energy you're almost afraid to leave the room while it's playing in case it explodes messily all over the walls.
  6. As focused as it is ambitious, Boxeris riveting.
  7. Here, most gestures remain a bit too consciously panoramic—elegant enough for comfort but often not chancy enough to be breathtaking.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 138
  1. JonB.
    Jun 23, 2008
    Yes, I like this album even more than Radiohead's Rainbows. Best album of the year.
  2. andrew
    Jun 17, 2007
    Boxer just made my personal list of 10 greatest albums of all time. I may be jumping the gun on this one a little, seeing as how I have only had the album for a few weeks, but every time I hear Berninger's voice softly contemplating the meaning of our existence over a lovingly played piano that emerges into a lush cacaphony of brass, guitar and drums, I can't imagine that I would ever become enough of a heartless bastard to knock this album off my list. I remember thinking when I first heard Boxer and Alligator (the preceding album) that they were like 'bright lights' interpol meets the hold steady, toeing the line between being too esoteric to understand for more than a fleeting moment or being so bombastically story driven that you would have to be completely removed from the music to not realize how the songs were connected. Now though, I have just come to be able to appreciate Boxer for being the incredible, soulful gem of a record that it is. Expand
  3. ChrisP
    Aug 5, 2007
    Best album of the year and in the top 10 of the decade. Buy it immediately.
  4. AnonymousMusicWriter
    Apr 28, 2007
    This album takes a bit more listening to get into then "Alligator," but I'm happy to say that success hasn't spoiled the National. These songs are quieter, yet sonically perhaps more accomplished than their last outing see "Ada," "Green Gloves" and the impossibly great "Slow Show." Expand
  5. KyleM
    May 23, 2007
    album of the year so far, easily
  6. Darnell
    Jun 15, 2007
    The National score big points here. The drumming throughout this disc is exceptional, and guitar work is from the Edge school of rock. Vocals are reminiscent of Leonard Cohen with a more modern slant. The energy on this album is at times restrained, allowing the music space to build into a wondrous wall of bombast. See Mistaken for Strangers. This album has surpassed Alligator as my favorite, but that is splitting hairs. Expand
  7. XooX
    May 22, 2007
    This band, and album, sucks.

See all 138 User Reviews