I’m somewhat aware that quite a few fine albums from the past year or two have slipped slyly under my Radio Detection and Ranging apparatus and I’m earnestly engaged in rectifying this sorry state of affairs. Boxer by The National was released almost one year ago but I have only grown to know and love this recording very recently. Here are twelve intense popular songs, richly crafted and featuring shimmering pianoforte, elegant percussion, soaring guitar soundscapes that underpin one of the most maudlin and melancholic voices in music. Here lurks introspection; hints of alienation, loneliness and urban gloom permeate the fairly subdued proceedings. The arrangements are upliftingly beautiful, the melodies take a while to appreciate but once under the skin, remain there like old 'n' loyal comrades. I’m always faintly reassured when I fail to ‘get’ an album on first hearing; Boxer proves that repeated listens really do bear fruit with recordings of quality. I recommend.
I must confess that I yearn for a new recording from the young prince of esoteric