Boxer

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 297 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 297

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  1. AlekseyI
    Jun 6, 2007
    10
    Simply the best
  2. feriatus
    May 23, 2007
    10
    Riveting.
  3. LS
    Jun 30, 2007
    10
    Superb Album. A bit calmer than Alligator, with the tracks more like the calmer Daughters of the Soho riots etc. An absolute must.
  4. GuyH
    Jun 8, 2007
    10
    This album is simply superb. 'Alligator' was good but this sounds like a perfectly formed album. By far the best album I have heard this year - The National should now be considered as members of that elite group of truly special bands.
  5. PhilipB.
    Jul 10, 2007
    10
    Excellent album. Get's better with each listen and hasn't gotten old yet.
  6. Dan
    Jul 11, 2007
    10
    I just got this album, and it has literally blew me away - right from the first listen. Outstanding!
  7. PerG
    May 22, 2007
    10
    A grower for sure. Keep listening to this album and you'll keep it close for life.
  8. PraC
    May 24, 2007
    10
    This album has set the bar for all releases in 2007. Not only is it the best album of this year, it's one of the best this decade. A brilliant work from one of the best and undoubtedly the most underrated band in the world.
  9. nathalie
    May 29, 2007
    10
    this is the most beautiful album i have heard all year.
  10. SharonC
    May 30, 2007
    10
    This album is absolutely amazing - one of the best I've ever heard.
  11. KostasG
    May 5, 2007
    10
    If you like Nick Cave, then you will love this album.
  12. andrew
    Jun 17, 2007
    10
    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 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
  13. RobertG
    Jun 22, 2007
    10
    Definitely in my top 3 albums of 2007. I'm not sure I like it as much as Alligator, but Boxer gets better with every listen. Great album.
  14. BrunoJ
    Jun 5, 2007
    10
    This album is absolutely SUPERB...
  15. TylerM
    Jun 6, 2007
    10
    Begs to be listened to repeatedly.
  16. JimK.
    Jul 14, 2007
    10
    Perfect album, not one weakness. This is the band to like right now imo, forget the Shins.
  17. JamieS.
    Jul 3, 2007
    10
    Excellent album, such a progression from the stuff before, perhaps a little more subtle than previously, but definatly the quality is there. A wonderful listening experience!
  18. Muz
    Aug 14, 2007
    10
    I agree totally with what Raindog 1972 said. Midlake's latest was the last album which floored me, now Boxer has done it too. Awesome album.
  19. ChrisP
    Aug 5, 2007
    10
    Best album of the year and in the top 10 of the decade. Buy it immediately.
  20. LinusG.
    Nov 20, 2007
    10
    "We expected something, something better than before, we expected something more" is not something you can say about this album. Perfect. Best sing-a-long of the year.
  21. Andy
    May 19, 2007
    10
    This album is amazing. This is definitely one of the best bands going right now.
  22. JLO
    May 21, 2007
    10
    I have been listening to this album obsessively multiple times a day since it leaked, and it only gets more beautiful with every spin. Boxer takes everything good about all the previous albums and incorporates it into a mature, fully realized, self-assured masterpiece. I didn't think any record could kick the ass of Alligator, but Boxer does that unlikely deed.
  23. Aaron
    May 21, 2007
    10
    Great Album
  24. Kyle
    May 21, 2007
    10
    Track to Track, a calming and wonderful listen. Great album!
  25. EdLeisurewear
    May 21, 2007
    10
    I haven't even heard this yet and it still gets 10 - The National are that good.
  26. sachep
    May 23, 2007
    10
    stunning.
  27. MatthewH
    May 23, 2007
    10
    An album that keeps unfolding to reveal more more layers and greater depth on repeated listens. This is the type of album that made me fall in love with music in the first place.
  28. JasonS
    May 24, 2007
    10
    Album of the year so far. It takes courage to make an album so different from a breakthrough like Alligator, but the National pull it off. This is their best album yet.
  29. TimB
    May 27, 2007
    10
    excellent
  30. NathanC
    May 4, 2007
    10
    This album is so well done. Kudos, gents.
  31. J.K.
    Jun 11, 2007
    10
    I thought that Alligator was brilliant, but this is twice is good. An urban masterpiece. It sounds like my heart as a late 20 something.
  32. tanner
    Jun 12, 2007
    10
    very thoughtful setlist and great all-around show. I'll stump shamelessly for The National any day.
  33. FionaV
    Jun 18, 2007
    10
    It's just ace and keeps on getting better and better
  34. TJ
    Jun 21, 2007
    10
    Amazing Album. Better than Alligator
  35. alex
    Jun 2, 2007
    10
    best band in the world right now by a long distance makes their second masterpiece.
  36. christianb
    Jun 22, 2007
    10
    slowburn, spine-tilingling beauty
  37. pg
    Jun 23, 2007
    10
    gorgeous!... and heartbreaking..... and comforting..... yet it still never get's cheesy and it kinda rocks! beautifully done.
  38. GMan
    Jun 4, 2007
    10
    Deep, rewarding, an ultimate sucess. This will appeal to the "Bob Dylan" in all of us. Though not a huge fan (but a fan non the less) of the latter, the rich lyrical content within the surpurb structures of these 12 songs are rife with intricate revelations and specullations - stories through and through. The beats handed down on the skins are truely admirable. Definite Top 5 for 2007, no doubt.
  39. Jonnym
    Jun 8, 2007
    10
    absolutely sublime...the national are the band that arcade fire wish they could be
  40. WoutS
    Jul 25, 2007
    10
    Brilliant album!
  41. SteveH
    Jul 25, 2007
    10
    Boxer came from seemingly out of nowhere, and stole my heart. This is one of those precious, precious finds that works its way irrevocably into your core, and stays with you, quite probably for life. For me it's on par with Turn on the Bright Lights and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, albums that define what music IS and why I love it so. The National are one of the pre-eminent (and criminally Boxer came from seemingly out of nowhere, and stole my heart. This is one of those precious, precious finds that works its way irrevocably into your core, and stays with you, quite probably for life. For me it's on par with Turn on the Bright Lights and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, albums that define what music IS and why I love it so. The National are one of the pre-eminent (and criminally under-appreciated) musicians of our times. Expand
  42. WookieC
    Jul 27, 2007
    10
    It seemed that after Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers and Alligator they couldn't get any better. They could.
  43. Jim
    Aug 7, 2007
    10
    Perfect album start to finish. There is not a weak track on it. I did not think they could out do Alligator but they did bigtime!
  44. WillC.
    Sep 19, 2007
    10
    An outstanding album that is equally as good as Alligator. I love 'Squalor Victoria' and 'Apartment Story'. I'm seeing them live in the UK in November for the first time and I can't wait.
  45. BarryP.
    Nov 18, 2007
    10
    On first listening the opening tracks impacted immediately and then I thought it tailed off. When I went back to it I started listening more and more to the second half of the album and it just keeps growing. I will now choose to listen to the last couple of tracks like Ada as much as Fake Empire. Patience rewards and I think this will eventually be regarded as one of the great albums of On first listening the opening tracks impacted immediately and then I thought it tailed off. When I went back to it I started listening more and more to the second half of the album and it just keeps growing. I will now choose to listen to the last couple of tracks like Ada as much as Fake Empire. Patience rewards and I think this will eventually be regarded as one of the great albums of recent years. I think it has more depth than Alligator. Expand
  46. NiallS
    Dec 17, 2007
    10
    The Real album of the year!
  47. CarlosA.
    Oct 24, 2007
    10
    One of the best in the last five years. Fresh, harmonic, deep. As much you listen it as much you will discover and like it. It can take time but in the end you will love these guys. Don´t forget Alligator, another surprise for me after listening Boxer.
  48. Chris
    May 11, 2007
    10
    I was hoping that The National would go back to the sound they established on Sad Songs, and they did. This album feels more cohesive than Alligator and perhaps a bit more intimate due to its toned down sound. The melodies are excellent, the writing is superb, and overall it feels like the group is enjoying themselves. By far, my favorite release of the year. I can't imagine any I was hoping that The National would go back to the sound they established on Sad Songs, and they did. This album feels more cohesive than Alligator and perhaps a bit more intimate due to its toned down sound. The melodies are excellent, the writing is superb, and overall it feels like the group is enjoying themselves. By far, my favorite release of the year. I can't imagine any album being able to beat it. Expand
  49. MatthewB
    May 16, 2007
    10
    Each song has its own identity yet each so different and all flow together as one. If that makes sense?
  50. matta
    May 21, 2007
    10
    It's hard to really justify giving an album a 10, but (and I think the critic of Popmatters should take this advice), if you can reasonably come to the conclusion that this is most likely going to be your favorite album of the year (or in my case, on the best I've ever heard), I think you're okay giving it a 10. For some reason it seems like critics are scared of giving a It's hard to really justify giving an album a 10, but (and I think the critic of Popmatters should take this advice), if you can reasonably come to the conclusion that this is most likely going to be your favorite album of the year (or in my case, on the best I've ever heard), I think you're okay giving it a 10. For some reason it seems like critics are scared of giving a perfect score, but some albums justify it. This is one of those. Alligator started off at #5 on my best of 2005 list when I first heard it in early November of that year. By the end of the year when I made my final list, it was #2 (behind Wolf Parade), and I now consider it to be the best album from that year. Against all odds, The National has, in many ways, eclipsed even the best moments from that record. Some people may prefer the pure rocking out moments missing here that were prevalent on Alligator, but I think the string arrangements, percussion, and spanish guitar are just as powerful. The clincher for me is the lyrics here resonate a little more than they did on Alligator. The imagery here is astonishing and conjures up all sorts of emotions and thoughts every time I listen. I honestly haven't been able to give anything else a chance over the course of the last three weeks because this is just too good. I can only hope their next record is close to this masterpiece. Expand
  51. JeffS
    May 22, 2007
    10
    This band just keeps getting better every album.. AND every album gets better with every listen. Definitely a top album of the year.
  52. JohnK
    May 23, 2007
    10
    Just amazing!
  53. TheNational
    May 26, 2007
    10
    awesome full stop
  54. natej
    May 27, 2007
    10
    Immense and beautiful
  55. rosen
    May 31, 2007
    10
    album of the year.
  56. georgeb.
    Jun 27, 2007
    10
    those guys can sing
  57. AndyB
    Jun 29, 2007
    10
    that they haven't been hailed as the greatest band writing today only proves what floats and what doesn't.
  58. ZacharyM
    Jul 24, 2007
    10
    This is the best album of the year so far. When I saw The National live this past year, they seemed like an 'above par' band that could work on a few elements as they mainly played songs from their 2005 release Alligator. But Boxer, consisting of more intense moments, more raw emotion (that isn't emo, but is a mature relational emotion), has been a nonstop listen for me all This is the best album of the year so far. When I saw The National live this past year, they seemed like an 'above par' band that could work on a few elements as they mainly played songs from their 2005 release Alligator. But Boxer, consisting of more intense moments, more raw emotion (that isn't emo, but is a mature relational emotion), has been a nonstop listen for me all summer. When I saw them live in Seattle last month, they had a poise and a confidence that I've seen in only a few bands. The Boxer is a masterpiece, an folksy rock epic, and a true rarity. Expand
  59. PhilM
    Jul 28, 2007
    10
    This is a stunner. I agree wholehearetdly with "The Onion" review above. At first glance, this seems dullsville. But this album gets right uner your skin with a constant stream of gorgeous, subtle, warming melodies that is not currently letting anything else near the headphones. Album of the year!
  60. THATMUSICGUY
    Aug 16, 2007
    10
    Album of the Year. Hits every high, low, and in between dynamic at a level of aesthetics, few artists achieve. Reminds you that basic songwriting is all it takes to achieve stellar hights in the realm of recording. The production of every song is perfect, and honestly, i think this album is more compareable to OK Computer than ANYTHING else I've heard since. That's not to say Album of the Year. Hits every high, low, and in between dynamic at a level of aesthetics, few artists achieve. Reminds you that basic songwriting is all it takes to achieve stellar hights in the realm of recording. The production of every song is perfect, and honestly, i think this album is more compareable to OK Computer than ANYTHING else I've heard since. That's not to say it's at the same level as the best album ever made, but it's one of the few records within spitting distance, I'd say. Expand
  61. BobD.
    Apr 13, 2008
    10
    mad mad good. after being introduced by "mistaken for strangers," i used to think they're were too many slow songs on here. but now i relish this album for its somber mood. a slow grower, but highly recommended.
  62. JonB.
    Jun 23, 2008
    10
    Yes, I like this album even more than Radiohead's Rainbows. Best album of the year.
  63. JoeDoe
    Dec 14, 2007
    10
    It's an absolutely great album! I've heard them for the first time on got radio just a couple of hours before. And yes, I already have the album.
  64. j30
    Jan 26, 2012
    10
    Amazing album. The dark, soulful LP from the Brooklyn based band is one of my favorite albums from 2007. Matt Berninger's low, crooning voice and Bryan Devendorf's bruising drums carry this album to great heights.
  65. Dec 1, 2012
    10
    The album reflects the ideas and philosophies of a grown up man and his emotions are displayed in such great depth with some amazing music you haven't heard before. Yes, the album has a serious tone and it carries its own melody which is unique and depressing somewhat.
    Clearly the best album of 2000s.
  66. May 1, 2013
    10
    Quite simply, a masterpiece of modern music. Deeply affective, darkly humorous, and as human as music can possibly be. Honestly the best album of the 2000s.
  67. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    I consider this album as a milestone of post-new-wave sound. Furthermore Matt Berninger's voice is outstanding, absolutely unique. Undoubtedly their best album!
  68. Sep 21, 2014
    10
    The slow-burning masterwork of a band at it's creative peak, both totally comfortable with where they are, and yet still pushing their own creative abilities and perfecting their craft. A perfect listen from start to finish.
  69. Mar 9, 2016
    10
    As always and expected from The National, a really amazing and outstanding album. I'd definitely recommend it to all fans of the band or everyone who liked the other albums as well. If you're new to The National, buy it. Now.
  70. SamG
    Apr 29, 2007
    9
    brilliant
  71. KyleM
    May 23, 2007
    9
    album of the year so far, easily
  72. AndyW
    May 4, 2007
    9
    I wasn't too keen on first listen, but after a while the songs just get to. "Mistaken For Strangers", "Slow Show", "Guest Room", and plenty of other strong tracks. Possibly, one of my top 5 favorite albums of this year
  73. jessem
    Jun 3, 2007
    9
    These guys are amazing...It's taken me months to get into every one of their albums, but the payoff is staggering. With this album, they've even begun to self-reference their own work, creating this mythology that's incredibly engaging and powerful.
  74. JaddyP
    Aug 3, 2007
    9
    The strangest thing about this album is that there is nothing remarkable about it but somehow it is a very remarkable album. The individual parts are all nothing spacial. The drum are OK and the guitar work works well but it isn't outstanding. The vocal are nothing special. However the sum of all this is a music that is well structure and grows and grows and grows. Pleasant surprises The strangest thing about this album is that there is nothing remarkable about it but somehow it is a very remarkable album. The individual parts are all nothing spacial. The drum are OK and the guitar work works well but it isn't outstanding. The vocal are nothing special. However the sum of all this is a music that is well structure and grows and grows and grows. Pleasant surprises all round. I highly recommend this!s Expand
  75. javierm
    May 14, 2007
    9
    gana con cada escucha, es cierto como dice aqui abajo el compañero. Estamos ante un album que contiene el gran himno del indie de este siglo: Apartment Story. La pegada de la bateria es brutal! Alligator es su obra maestra y esta su gema.
  76. AdamB
    May 22, 2007
    9
    Not quite as good as Alligator, but still amazing. One of the best of the year for sure.
  77. MusicMaven
    May 24, 2007
    9
    They've bulit on the progress of their excellent previous album 'Alligator' to the point where every song is a multi-layered gem. Most are mid-tempo numbers that aren't quite rockers or ballads, driven by inventive drum patterns and framed with expressive guitars. These provide a sympathetic backing for Matt Berninger's deep, evocative lyrics. The album grows They've bulit on the progress of their excellent previous album 'Alligator' to the point where every song is a multi-layered gem. Most are mid-tempo numbers that aren't quite rockers or ballads, driven by inventive drum patterns and framed with expressive guitars. These provide a sympathetic backing for Matt Berninger's deep, evocative lyrics. The album grows stronger with each listen, and is surely one of the finest of 2007. Expand
  78. Darnell
    Jun 15, 2007
    9
    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 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
  79. danielb
    Jun 29, 2007
    9
    The album fails to stand up to the impossibly high standard set by the first four songs on the record, but that's ok because 99.9% of music fails to stand up to the remaining songs on this record. Truly moving.
  80. andy
    Jun 7, 2007
    9
    Their past albums took me some time to get into but this one was immediate. Only a few throw-out tracks mixed with seven or eight gems.
  81. Scott
    Aug 22, 2007
    9
    Any lyrics that have to do with "baking pies" or "make a cake or something" and refers to untarnished kids as "pink" and "ruffians" deserves an A in my book. The singer takes me back to the old days swooner singers wearing maybe a silk shirt and sippin some vodka. Not the best band ever but definitely a gem amongst the million crappy indie records available this year.
  82. Shes_soLoose
    Aug 31, 2007
    9
    I was left half-cold by the much acclaimed Alligator: I never could really get into it. Boxer is different, though. It took me just a couple of spins to be drawn into it and I absolutely love it. Standaout tracks: Brainy, Slow Show and Guest Room.
  83. FrancescM.
    Dec 15, 2007
    9
    It's a very special CD. Not original at all, but special.
  84. DannyP
    Apr 30, 2007
    9
    Just like Alligator, it gets better with every listen. I find a gem, wear it out, and then find another and do the same. First was Fake Empire. Then came Start a War. Now Slow Show has me hooked. Will be in my top five at the end of the year.
  85. pau
    May 22, 2007
    9
    mellower, but definitely as good as alligator. feels more cohesive. easily in my top 3 albums of the year along with of montreal and whatever else comes along...
  86. kdevilh
    May 22, 2007
    9
    I listen to it on the train - it's the perfect accompaniment to lonely moments, exactly what they intended.
  87. DudeAsInCool
    May 23, 2007
    9
    The more you play it, the more you like it - I give it a 9.5
  88. DaveM
    May 24, 2007
    9
    Another fine release from The National, proving indeed that they are America's finest band.
  89. AlexM
    May 25, 2007
    9
    I discovered Alligator last year and immediately fell in love with it. I was actually really worried that the band might have created an insurmountable piece of work, so when it became apparent after about 3-4 listens that they had indeed done it again with Boxer, I was beyond thrilled. This is a The National album from beginning to end, and is easily the band's most cohesive and I discovered Alligator last year and immediately fell in love with it. I was actually really worried that the band might have created an insurmountable piece of work, so when it became apparent after about 3-4 listens that they had indeed done it again with Boxer, I was beyond thrilled. This is a The National album from beginning to end, and is easily the band's most cohesive and consistent effort. It's definitely more subdued, but there is a tension in all of these songs, largely due to Devendorf's skilled and ear-catching drumming. Berninger's playful lyricism is in full effect here, as is his infectious and pleasing baritone. The orchestral touches in the last third of the album are wonderful, the brass is a very warm touch, and this is just a brilliantly put together album. There are no blazing rockers like "Lit Up," "Abel," or "Mr. November," but this album doesn't need them. It's a controlled, anxious, confident, perfectly produced, and beautiful work of art. Those who say that this is a band you fall in love with are exactly right: once you get it, so much of what else is out there just doesn't sound as good. Great songs, great musicianship, great lyrics, great melodies, and a great album. It's going to be tough to top this one at the end of the year for me. Expand
  90. GregM
    May 27, 2007
    9
    Some of the best drumming around
  91. MycroftW
    May 7, 2007
    9
    Sheer class from top to bottom, do not miss!
  92. TristramC
    Jun 8, 2007
    9
    These guys are in Minneapolis tonight. I came on to get tickets. It sold out. It sold out because as good as Alligator was Boxer blows it away. I was just foolish enough to believe these guys were still my little secret. Only better cd i've heard from this year is Copia by Eluvium. Quietly, one of the best tracks of 2005 was '...Soho Riots' off Alligator. Elsewhere on that These guys are in Minneapolis tonight. I came on to get tickets. It sold out. It sold out because as good as Alligator was Boxer blows it away. I was just foolish enough to believe these guys were still my little secret. Only better cd i've heard from this year is Copia by Eluvium. Quietly, one of the best tracks of 2005 was '...Soho Riots' off Alligator. Elsewhere on that album that moment wasn't even touched. On Boxer they are everywhere. The National are compared with Interpol quite a bit and I can hear it but imagine if in place of Interpols angular rigidity there was Leonard Cohen's fluidity & lushness. Yeah. Its great. Expand
  93. Raindog1972
    Jul 25, 2007
    9
    This album scares me...like Midlake's record last year...I had to force myself to stop playing it for a week because I was an addict...a wonderful, moody piece...
  94. Rasec
    Aug 14, 2007
    9
    Thank you for the music!
  95. LucasC.
    Sep 11, 2007
    9
    Good Lyrics... Good Album.
  96. MC
    Nov 13, 2007
    9
    Excellent. Honest lyrics, great music. I especially love the drumming, as well as the overall mood of the album.
  97. TBone
    Nov 22, 2007
    9
    After having this whole album in my playlists for a few months, I have to say, the only song I could really pull is Slow Show. Theres a lot of hooks in all of these. Pretty good.
  98. AnonymousMusicWriter
    Apr 28, 2007
    9
    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."
  99. Waugh
    May 31, 2007
    9
    Xo oX and Ed Leisurewear are both idiots.
  100. mattb
    Jun 24, 2007
    9
    i realized that i was in love with my girlfriend while listening to this album
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. The National hews too closely to established formula on "Boxer," content to revisit previously explored territory without expanding its sound.
  2. Here, most gestures remain a bit too consciously panoramic—elegant enough for comfort but often not chancy enough to be breathtaking.
  3. A patchy, flawed effort.