Albums of the year: #8

THE NATIONAL: Boxer

On the first couple of hearings Boxer didn’t appear to quite have the quality of the National’s two previous albums, although it was a record I returned to quite often. I only realised how the songs had imprinted themselves on my consciousness when I saw the band at the ABC at the beginning of last month (my gig of the year). In my original review I described “Fake Empire” as low key (usually a reviewer’s code for quiet and forgettable), but listening to it now it’s hard to see how I came to that conclusion. Anyhow, Boxer is one of the few guitar/bass/drum records that did anything for me this year, proving the problem isn’t in the band format, but in the imagination of 99% of rock groups.

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