Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

CD Review: The National - Boxer

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.
5b2bf71a4488b3000926d073-original.jpg

Boxer, out May 22 on Beggars Banquet, is the kind of record that makes you want to do nothing with your life. More specifically, The National’s fourth, full-length album is an offering of unfussy rock that is neither sentimental nor whiny, rather, a perfectly romanticized malaise that could convince even the most upwardly mobile type-A to consider a path of murky, scotch-fueled depression.

Matt Berninger’s confident and dreamy bass-baritone opens the record by quietly guiding the piano to the drums on Fake Empire, and you can almost see him sitting like a cool sadsack at a dusty truckstop somewhere. That imagery saturates the album, though I recall no mention of dust or trucks.

Because The National does understated so well, flourishes like layered background vocals, choruses of horns and gentle swells go a long way to enhancing the overall sound. Mistaken For Strangers stands out with its twitchy pop precision and fleeting moments of Interpol drone, Green Gloves is like a pretty and sad memory of not getting what you wanted, while Slow Show is destined for hipster-in-love mixes wanting to convey that eternally complex “I’m totally into you” sentiment. Also noteworthy is a guest appearance by Sufjan Stevens playing piano on tracks Racing Like a Pro and Ada.

Support for LAist comes from

This must-have for summer will take the pressure off of feeling good, and the edge off of feeling bad.

Download: The National - Fake Empire [MP3]





Download: The National - Mistaken For Strangers [MP3]