Recently I’ve found myself spending a lot of time listening to the The National’s 2007 breakout album, Boxer. Perhaps it has something to do with the change in weather or the days growing shorter, but the deep baritone of lead singer Matt Berninger just seems to somehow fit more so than ever before.
Hailing from Brooklyn by way of Cincinnati, the five indie rockers that make up The National have created a niche for themselves at the forefront of a movement that proves you can still rock without screaming. While the music is certainly driven by intricate drumming and subtle yet powerful guitar riffs, it is Berninger’s lyrics and vocals that give the band it’s unique sound. As one reviewer put it, “Berninger paints relationships like Monet paints haystacks—exhaustively, with an eye for subtle shading and changes in atmosphere and mood that others would find mundane.”
The National is one of those bands that requires more than just one listen to appreciate. It wasn’t until I sat down and listened to The Boxer a few times that I was able to really dig into it and appreciate it for the masterpiece of tension building that it is. That being said, pick up a copy of the Boxer, or their latest, the critically acclaimed High Violet, and settle down on the next rainy afternoon to have your mind blown.