AOTY 2017
The National - Boxer
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2007 Ratings: #7 / 617
User Score
Based on 327 ratings
2007 Ratings: #8
May 22, 2007 / Release Date
LP / Format
Beggars Banquet / Label
Peter Katis / Producer
Indie Rock / Genres
Your Review


A.V. Club

Boxer is even more measured and seemingly mellow than 2005's incredible Alligator, but bubbling under the dark, glassy surface are smart, engaging songs that will stay imprinted on brains when others' weightless melodies are relegated to memory's attic.

Drowned in Sound

What a dross opening verse to a record. Try to spout those sub-Springsteen lines without sounding a prat. Uttered by Matt Berninger’s reassuring croon, though, it seems so vital. Berninger seems the sort of majestic loser that you can associate with, a man ridden with gin-soaked, existential guilt. Under the dreary-eyed malaise of ‘Fake Empire’, The National return. Whilst the triumphant fist that previous LP Alligator rose may have lowered, Boxer documents the standard relationship gripes with absolute resignation and, though not quite as immediately arresting and rampant as its plaudit-acquiring predecessor, is an album of understated brilliance.


Like those on their last album, these songs reveal themselves gradually but surely, building to the inevitable moment when they hit you in the gut.

Dec 25, 2016
It is just amazing how this record can manage to fit among some of the very best indie-rock albums ever released without really focusing on the 'rock' part. The arrangements, the sound and production quality are all beautifully simple here, with lush timbres and on-point performances that carry out the emotive values of these compositions. A truly great, memorable work.
Apr 9, 2014
By far, National's best album. Incredible lyrics and album pace. Just an indie rock classic.

Best tracks: Fake Empire, Mistaken For Strangers, Slow Show
Apr 13, 2017*
Indie rock with some really impressive and gorgeous instrumentation and great vocals. Unfortunately the avante-garde lyrical style is too much of a mixed bag.
Oct 6, 2016
Even more gut-wrenchingly moving than it's predecessor, this stands as one of their greatest so far.
Feb 14, 2016
Fav Tracks: Fake Empire, Slow Show, Guest Room
Track List

  1. Fake Empire
  2. Mistaken For Strangers
  3. Brainy 
  4. Squalor Victoria
  5. Green Gloves 
  6. Slow Show 
  7. Apartment Story 
  8. Start a War 
  9. Guest Room 
  10. Racing Like a Pro 
  11. Ada
  12. Gospel