Last week, I wrote a piece weighing the strengths of 2007’s Boxer against the other albums in The National’s formidable catalog. In spite of strong contenders like 2005’s Alligator, 2010’s High Violet, and 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me, I ultimately decided that Boxer is the best album The National has yet made. Here was my reasoning:
Boxer remains the pivotal moment in The National’s career — it’s where they imagined the kind of band they wanted to be moving forward. If Boxer had faltered — and given how the record was made, it very nearly was a creative failure — The National would be remembered by only a select few Alligator stans impotently insisting that the band’s potential ultimately exceeded its grasp. Instead, The National stands as perhaps the best American rock band of the last 10 years, and hopefully beyond.
I had so much fun delving into the minutia of The National’s career that I decided to call up another super-fan, Chris DeVille of Stereogum, in order to discuss what exactly makes Boxer so special, as well as its ultimate place in the pantheon of National records and 21st century indie-rock overall. Join us as we walk through this album, and measure it against the other albums in the band’s discography.
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