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.