The National - Boxer
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2007 Ratings: #8 / 682
Year End Rank: #5
User Score
Based on 713 ratings
2007 Ratings: #8
Liked by 36 people
May 22, 2007 / Release Date
LP / Format
Peter Katis / Producer
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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.


Boxer catches the five-piece oozing with imagination, pulling off stylistic mixtures that shouldn't work with astounding ease.


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.


Boxer just hones in even more precisely and intimately on the heartfelt territory the band covers.

I will never not think of the first moments I moved to new york listening to this thing lonely as fuck but with this whole fantasy for my future floating around in my head constantly, so yeah, I will probably always love it
When you reach your 30's, The National automatically become your favorite band.
The first time I ever listened to The National´s "Boxer" I was 13. By that time, I had no idea of how good music was supposed to sound like. After one or two plays, I got bored and simply forgot it even existed. A few years later, the 20-something me decided to give it another try, and I was astonished by how much I enjoyed it. The record is simple, yet perfectly fitting for representing the idea of adulthood, its deceptions, frustrations, and completions. Matt Berninger´s ... read more
Absolutely, my favorite The National album, with some great production but more importantly it contains the band's best lyrical content. With songs like Mistake For Strangers, Fake Empire, Slow Show and Gospel showcasing that brilliant songwriting with some of the most lonely and bittersweet lyrics many of which hit too close to home. Alongside, the nostalgia of my indie rock phase, Boxer has always managed to stay close with me throughout the years.

Track Review

Fake Empire 10/10
Mistaken ... read more
Boxer is likely to be considered The National's first great album, and perhaps just their best in general, by many of their fans. Although this could be due to the sheer freshness that was developed over Boxer, it is also due to the fact that the lush instrumentals and slow burn pacing just seem to work throughout this entire project.

I mention the fact that this is so fresh because this is really the first The National have really sounded like, well, The National. The majority of Alligator ... read more
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