The National - Boxer
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2007 Ratings: #8 / 619
User Score
Based on 340 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 28, 2017
Everything that The National improved upon with Alligator is taken to the next level on Boxer, if that's even possible. The poetry of the lyrics and the slow burn of every track here. Boxer is a record for dark, deep, richly colored rooms filled with plush armchairs and glasses shining with amber liquid. Smoke billows in the air and you savor that lived-in smell of comfort and warmth that The National provide.
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.
Jan 10, 2018
Of all of the bands I’d list as among my favorites, The National is probably the one I have the hardest time justifying verbally why I like them so much. There’s something in the stately but subtle grandeur that they excel in generating that gives their albums a sort of larger-than-life quality — at least when listening to “Boxer", it sounds like what music is *supposed* to sound like. The songs in “Boxer” start out with several moving parts that seem ... read more
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
Jan 4, 2018
Top Favorite: Mistaken For Strangers
Other Favorites: Fake Empire, Slow Show, Racing Like A Pro
Least Favorite: Squalor Victoria
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