Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The National: Boxer (100-word classic-album review for Uncut)

A record perched above the noughties' indie-narcissism niche, Boxer is a stirring creation. The National’s influences range from Springsteen to Joy Division, and their transatlantic odyssey has not been in vain. Every track is a triumph. Fake Empire opens sincerely, Mistaken For Strangers is endearingly poppy while Slow Show is both pretty and forceful: a pattern emerges of ambitious songs that never condescend to the listener. At his most hopeful, vocalist Berninger daydreams, “Cinderella through the room, I glide and swan / I’m the best slow-dancer in the universe”. However slow or furious, were you dancing before it was all over? The National’s follow-up, High Violet, out May 10th, shoulders great expectations.

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