Tuesday, May 08, 2007

New National

I’ve been enjoying the new National album Boxer lately, and I’ve been slow to judge it. Rather I want to give it some time, play it a lot and let it sink in properly. I think this is the right approach.

After all, their last album Alligator was a bit of a slow burner for me and I don’t think I was the only one who found that. In fact I didn’t really appreciate it properly till I saw them live – one memorable evening at The Barfly with singer Matt Berninger almost pulling the air con unit off the ceiling. After that I really grew to love the album.

With Boxer, it might be even better because I’m already beginning to like it before I see them live (they’re at The Astoria on 22 May!). There’s a real warmth to the songs, which after a few spins have already made their way to my heart. It gets off to a good start with Fake Empire and Mistaken for Strangers (the new single), but there are plenty of other pleasures to be found there – in particular the lovely accordion on Slow Show. I’ll post on the album again when I give it even more time. Or see them live.

In the meantime, here a couple of tracks played live on John Kennedy’s Xfm show a few weeks ago, when Matt and Aaron Dessner were over here for some promo duties. Nice acoustic versions of Mistaken for Strangers and You’ve Done it Again Virginia (the b-side of Lit Up).

Download: The National – Mistaken for Strangers (live acoustic)
Download: The National – You’ve Done it Again Virginia (live acoustic)

Pre-order Boxer.


ToX said...

Thanks for the share of the live acoustic session!

Greetings from Belgium

Matthew said...

Ah, see I didn't really get into a couple of preview listens of Alligator, decided I didn't get what all the fuss was about and didn't bother buying it. I like National though, so I guess you're saying it might be worth revisiting Alligator?

reverend war character said...

does the lead singer of the national sound increasingly like the lead singer of the willard grant conspiracy?