Tuesday, May 08, 2007
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)