User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 280 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 280

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  1. JonB.
    Jun 23, 2008
    10
    Yes, I like this album even more than Radiohead's Rainbows. Best album of the year.
  2. KyleM
    May 23, 2007
    9
    album of the year so far, easily
  3. tanner
    Jun 12, 2007
    10
    very thoughtful setlist and great all-around show. I'll stump shamelessly for The National any day.
  4. 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
  5. WookieC
    Jul 27, 2007
    10
    It seemed that after Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers and Alligator they couldn't get any better. They could.
  6. Jul 3, 2011
    9
    just amazing. best album of them.
  7. XooX
    May 22, 2007
    0
    This band, and album, sucks.
  8. CalvinD.
    Jun 4, 2008
    3
    no bad songs on this one, but in a whole, it's just very boring. some people may refer to this as "cohesive"...every song's structure is the same, and since they're alway building up on one single line, it's time to hit the forward button after 2.5 minutes into each song. mistaken for strangers is a good example of how good a song can start and how boring it can no bad songs on this one, but in a whole, it's just very boring. some people may refer to this as "cohesive"...every song's structure is the same, and since they're alway building up on one single line, it's time to hit the forward button after 2.5 minutes into each song. mistaken for strangers is a good example of how good a song can start and how boring it can become. the drumming is to loud the whole record through too. Expand
  9. ShaunB
    Jun 12, 2007
    5
    Some decent songs here and there but none of them are really great, not memorable. I still don't know how this has an 85 on metacritic, considering there's been better albums that have come out in 07 that deserve that kind of grade (Of Montreal, Feist, Field Music, Andrew Bird, to name a few).
  10. AlekseyI
    Jun 6, 2007
    10
    Simply the best
  11. SamG
    Apr 29, 2007
    9
    brilliant
  12. feriatus
    May 23, 2007
    10
    Riveting.
  13. 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
  14. ArthurD
    Jun 1, 2007
    8
    A pretty sound effort but not a patch on "Boxer". The new songs are a lot better played live which makes me think the production was maybe a bit tame. "Mistaken For Strangers" is easily the best of the bunch, but it's not anywhere near the standard of "Mr November" or "All the Wine" from their last CD. As for the muppets who have "reviewed" the album without even listening to it, do A pretty sound effort but not a patch on "Boxer". The new songs are a lot better played live which makes me think the production was maybe a bit tame. "Mistaken For Strangers" is easily the best of the bunch, but it's not anywhere near the standard of "Mr November" or "All the Wine" from their last CD. As for the muppets who have "reviewed" the album without even listening to it, do us a favour and sod off over to Amazon. Expand
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. PhilipB.
    Jul 10, 2007
    10
    Excellent album. Get's better with each listen and hasn't gotten old yet.
  19. Dan
    Jul 11, 2007
    10
    I just got this album, and it has literally blew me away - right from the first listen. Outstanding!
  20. 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
  21. Elli
    Oct 9, 2007
    8
    I had such high expectations for this album. This is a good album but nowhere as magnificent as its predecessor, "Alligator." This album takes a while to appreciate and it has a slower pace than "Alligator." My favorite songs are "Fake Empire" and "Slow Show."
  22. BrissaR
    Oct 9, 2007
    7
    Alligator was more upbeat and there was a greater variety of songs/tempos. Boxer is more contemplated and the songs drift into each other, i.e., it's more monotonous. If you are a fan of the National than you should buy Boxer but don't get your hopes up too high.
  23. 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.
  24. PerG
    May 22, 2007
    10
    A grower for sure. Keep listening to this album and you'll keep it close for life.
  25. AdamB
    May 22, 2007
    9
    Not quite as good as Alligator, but still amazing. One of the best of the year for sure.
  26. GillG
    May 23, 2007
    6
    Nothing great, but some decent tracks to to check out. The lead singer has a very strong, confident voice but other than that there's nothing that really blows me away, it's just alright. I recommend other better NY bands like Interpol and TV on the Radio who are amazing. Anyway, a 6 from me.
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. Mark
    May 27, 2007
    8
    Good album...
  30. nathalie
    May 29, 2007
    10
    this is the most beautiful album i have heard all year.
  31. SharonC
    May 30, 2007
    10
    This album is absolutely amazing - one of the best I've ever heard.
  32. KostasG
    May 5, 2007
    10
    If you like Nick Cave, then you will love this album.
  33. Lucky
    Jun 12, 2007
    4
    Not my kind of album, I find it very boring. The lead singer is trying way to hard to sound like Bob Dylan and he's not good enough to sing like him.
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. BrunoJ
    Jun 5, 2007
    10
    This album is absolutely SUPERB...
  39. TylerM
    Jun 6, 2007
    10
    Begs to be listened to repeatedly.
  40. kevk
    Jun 6, 2007
    7
    boring
  41. 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.
  42. JimK.
    Jul 14, 2007
    10
    Perfect album, not one weakness. This is the band to like right now imo, forget the Shins.
  43. CharlieP.
    Jul 22, 2007
    6
    This album has to be the most overrated album of the year. It's boring. boring and more boring. monotony is not music people.
  44. 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!
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. ChrisP
    Aug 5, 2007
    10
    Best album of the year and in the top 10 of the decade. Buy it immediately.
  49. Jackpot
    May 16, 2008
    8
    This is a workmanlike performance by The National. There isn't anything here that blows my mind, but the majestic closer, "Gospel," comes close; it's like a darker version of "Boy with the Arab Strap"-era Belle & Sebastian.
  50. 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.
  51. booms.
    Oct 18, 2007
    6
    i was blown away initially by this release - on subsequent listens i find myself getting more uninterested and bored of this album. Some great songs dispersed amongst filler
  52. FrancescM.
    Dec 15, 2007
    9
    It's a very special CD. Not original at all, but special.
  53. 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.
  54. Andy
    May 19, 2007
    10
    This album is amazing. This is definitely one of the best bands going right now.
  55. 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.
  56. Aaron
    May 21, 2007
    10
    Great Album
  57. Kyle
    May 21, 2007
    10
    Track to Track, a calming and wonderful listen. Great album!
  58. EdLeisurewear
    May 21, 2007
    10
    I haven't even heard this yet and it still gets 10 - The National are that good.
  59. 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...
  60. kdevilh
    May 22, 2007
    9
    I listen to it on the train - it's the perfect accompaniment to lonely moments, exactly what they intended.
  61. Busted...
    May 23, 2007
    6
    No matter how well produced, this record lacks originality. All the sounds combine to produce a band that has nothing to offer.
  62. DudeAsInCool
    May 23, 2007
    9
    The more you play it, the more you like it - I give it a 9.5
  63. sachep
    May 23, 2007
    10
    stunning.
  64. 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.
  65. TrekD
    May 23, 2007
    3
    A huge crushing dissapointment after the amazing "Alligator" LP.
  66. Roco
    May 23, 2007
    5
    Average, nothing spectacular. Doesn't deserve such a high rating on this website.
  67. Blake
    May 23, 2007
    0
    Very overated.
  68. DamienD
    May 23, 2007
    2
    Not my cup of tea. There aren't really any memorable songs. Too bad cause I really wanted to like this album.
  69. DaveM
    May 24, 2007
    9
    Another fine release from The National, proving indeed that they are America's finest band.
  70. toddw
    May 24, 2007
    4
    I saw these guys at the Pitchfork Music Festival last summer, and just as quickly turned away to visit the recycled music tent and the bad art kiosks. And now you tell me that the Sally Field of rock, Sufjan Stevens, is somehow connected to this effort? Jeez, I guess I'm going to have to rethink my initial impulse and double-quick time it past the "N" section of the local mass music I saw these guys at the Pitchfork Music Festival last summer, and just as quickly turned away to visit the recycled music tent and the bad art kiosks. And now you tell me that the Sally Field of rock, Sufjan Stevens, is somehow connected to this effort? Jeez, I guess I'm going to have to rethink my initial impulse and double-quick time it past the "N" section of the local mass music store. Another group whose music is fine, I guess, but nothing that I'll give a second spin to or remember in a year's time. Expand
  71. 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.
  72. 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
  73. TimB
    May 27, 2007
    10
    excellent
  74. GregM
    May 27, 2007
    9
    Some of the best drumming around
  75. NathanC
    May 4, 2007
    10
    This album is so well done. Kudos, gents.
  76. trest
    May 7, 2007
    7
    alot more mellow than the last album. every songs sounds like it takes place at night somehow. enjoyable to listen to, but i think it needed more upbeat and slightly more mid-up tempo songs like mr november or lit up. none of the slower songs hit me like "secret meeting" or "slipping husband." this music makes me want to fall asleep in a good way.
  77. MycroftW
    May 7, 2007
    9
    Sheer class from top to bottom, do not miss!
  78. 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.
  79. marcopolo
    Jun 14, 2007
    0
    a piece of s##t ...
  80. FionaV
    Jun 18, 2007
    10
    It's just ace and keeps on getting better and better
  81. TJ
    Jun 21, 2007
    10
    Amazing Album. Better than Alligator
  82. alex
    Jun 2, 2007
    10
    best band in the world right now by a long distance makes their second masterpiece.
  83. christianb
    Jun 22, 2007
    10
    slowburn, spine-tilingling beauty
  84. pg
    Jun 23, 2007
    10
    gorgeous!... and heartbreaking..... and comforting..... yet it still never get's cheesy and it kinda rocks! beautifully done.
  85. AndrewT
    Jun 29, 2007
    8
    A very good album after 10 listens. After the first two spins I would have given it a 2, one for the piano and another for the drums. Around 8 or 9 spins it suddenly moved to a 7 and by the 10th listen is rose to an 8. You have to move to a different dimension to appreciate the album. I can see why some people think it is utter $£"? since this is what i originally thought.
  86. 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.
  87. Jonnym
    Jun 8, 2007
    10
    absolutely sublime...the national are the band that arcade fire wish they could be
  88. BrianA.
    Jul 14, 2007
    6
    Just not as intense as the previous release
  89. cwb
    Jul 24, 2007
    8
    so far, I wouldn't put it in the same (masterpiece) class as Alligator, but this is still a very strong album, and as every review seems to say it will, it IS growing and growing on me. "slow start" and "start a war" are undeniably great. I love this band. and will see them for the first time in september. cannot wait! if there's anyone here digging on this album that so far, I wouldn't put it in the same (masterpiece) class as Alligator, but this is still a very strong album, and as every review seems to say it will, it IS growing and growing on me. "slow start" and "start a war" are undeniably great. I love this band. and will see them for the first time in september. cannot wait! if there's anyone here digging on this album that hasn't heard Alligator, wait 'til it gets its jaws around your ears! Expand
  90. WoutS
    Jul 25, 2007
    10
    Brilliant album!
  91. 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...
  92. 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. Collapse
  93. Epic
    Jul 26, 2007
    0
    A lackluster effort especially after there last two albums. A huge borefest throughout.
  94. Epic
    Jul 26, 2007
    0
    A lackluster effort especially after there last two albums. A huge borefest throughout.
  95. Rasec
    Aug 14, 2007
    9
    Thank you for the music!
  96. 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!
  97. LucasC.
    Sep 11, 2007
    9
    Good Lyrics... Good Album.
  98. 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.
  99. WadeT.
    Sep 27, 2007
    7
    There is a difference between releasing an impressive album and an engaging album. Engaging records create fan bases by becoming a part of the listeners day to day life. Impressive albums are a lot like looking at a painting in an art gallery that you visit one in awhile, you look, are impressed, then move on, not thinking about it much afterwards. The Boxer by The National is impressive, There is a difference between releasing an impressive album and an engaging album. Engaging records create fan bases by becoming a part of the listeners day to day life. Impressive albums are a lot like looking at a painting in an art gallery that you visit one in awhile, you look, are impressed, then move on, not thinking about it much afterwards. The Boxer by The National is impressive, but since purchasing it based on my finding of their myspace page I haven't been able to come back to it. The reason is The National hit a lot of triples on The Boxer, good tunes, impressively constructed, but don't have that moment that plants a melody straight into your brain. The National are talented, competent performers with a great core sound, but Boxer largely veers away from those epic moments needed that pronounce great songs. Start A War is the best example of this, with a simple acoustic guitar starting a tune that seems pushing toward a large climax, The National never take the song where you as a listener want it to go and you're left with a disjointed effort, much like the entire album. Expand
  100. MC
    Nov 13, 2007
    9
    Excellent. Honest lyrics, great music. I especially love the drumming, as well as the overall mood of the 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.