Boxer is the fourth album from Brooklyn quintet The National, which I continue to want to add "front disco" to, every time they are mentioned, which as of late, is quite often. Comprised of two pairs of brothers, and one from another mother, the band lightly skips on a mercurial wind of daunting elegance atop cement gravestones in a majestic mortuary. Like vintage Tom Waits gargling Southern Comfort behind the Coldplay rhythm nation, The National have assembled what could be their most prolific sound document to date. Listen closely for Sufjan Stevens on backing vocals, and try not to flood your poor liver too much, as this potent elixir is more transcendent than an after hours Jaegerbomb.
"Mistaken For Strangers" is a spectacular incursion of quick rat-a-tat drums with singer Matt Berninger howling about "blue blazers" as if The National were competing against Interpol in some hip NYC fashion show. "Green Gloves" is the mid-marker leaden champion of the album, that makes me feel bad for this kid who is isolated without human companionship, a reoccurring bloodline pumping inside this somber stallion. "Apartment Story" is the record's most stunning numerator on this alcohol-doused equation that Elefant or Editors continue to calculate.
Boxer is a voluptuous stack of aphotic anthems that all hands on every body will wish to squeeze. The keys, strings, and acoustic pricks heighten the album's knurly romance to a towering elevation, reaching anyone who dyed their hair black or cut their arms deep in the early 80s, touching them from a distance deep within.