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Friday, May 11, 2007 

Squalor Victoria

Okay, so I've already talked up the new record by the National, Boxer, which comes out end of May. But J. Edward Keyes sums it up just beautifully here:

Obviously one of the best records of the year, and a record for people as old as me, feeling everything I’m feeling right now. Moreover, it’s subtle; I’ve been burned out with big bands who make Big! Points! Loud! And! Often! With Big! Choruses! And obvious concepts. The National are the right kind of fuck-you, small and quiet and unassuming. I’ve loved them since their first record, and I didn’t quite get this record until the fifth time through — which is the exact kind of experience I want to have with records. The phrase “half awake in our fake empire” is the best description of New York I’ve heard in years, and I love that Berninger can take a nonsensical phrase — like “showered and blue blazered/ fill yourself with quarters” — and sing it so I know exactly what he’s getting at. Boxer just keeps on giving.

This articulates parts of my reaction to the record so accurately it hurts.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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