Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm The New Blue Mood, I'm The Great White Hope

Two years after its release, The National's "Boxer" still floors me. I think it's one of the best albums I've ever heard. The songwriting is incredible; not only are the lyrics some of my favorites (I can't decipher them for my life, but the way they put their words together just sounds so good), but I find the composition and arrangements of instrumentals sounds almost classical in form. Rather than being just a guitar band or a keyboard band, The National utilize every instrument in their arsenal. "Fake Empire" is rooted in a rich piano strain, "Mistaken for Strangers" builds on jagged, industrial guitar, "Green Gloves" is atmospheric and acoustic, and thumping, rapid drums fuel "Squalor Victoria."

Anyway, before last year I had never listened to any of The National's music besides "Boxer." I think I loved "Boxer" so much, I was afraid that anything else I heard would not live up it. However, I finally got around to buying the "Cherry Tree" EP and "Alligator." While both are less polished than "Boxer," the roughness does not at all detract from the pure beauty of the music. Off "Cherry Tree," "About Today" is my favorite. Off "Alligator," I have "Mr. November" on repeat. Also, I am obsessed with "So Far Around the Bend," The National's track from the fantastic compilation "Dark Was The Night" (which the band was instrumental in organizing).

About Today- The National
So Far Around the Bend- The National
Mr. November- The National

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