The National - Boxer
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2007 Ratings: #8 / 653
Year End Rank: #5
User Score
Based on 548 ratings
2007 Ratings: #8
May 22, 2007 / Release Date
LP / Format
Beggars Banquet / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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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
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
It's an album iv'e come to appreciate more and more as i have given it a lot of time to let it soak in over the last couple weeks. And iv'e come to at least appreciate pretty much every song on here. Even those that failed to really leave a big impression on me on the first couple listens. But there are still too many tracks on here that don't give me enough to work with for me to really like them. Especially "Brainy", "Squalor Victoria" and "Green Gloves" being a ... read more
Actually not my favorite thing from them but still freakin good because I am a sucker for this band right now.
The National's fourth album is by far the one with the most praise, and I can definitely see why. Every single track on here is extremely good: the instrumentals, the vocals, the lyrics - everything about them is amazing. I find it difficult to find anything bad about this record, but I just feel like it isn't as good as some people make it out to be. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic project, but it doesn't do too much for me. Other than a good listen, it really isn't anything special. I ... read more
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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

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