106 of 112 people found the following review helpful
, May 22, 2007
This review is from: Boxer (Audio CD)
The first thing you'll notice about this album is how slow it is. Only two songs, "Mistaken for Strangers" and "Apartment Story", rock in any kind of recognizable way. Others like "Racing Like a Pro" and "Ada" barely resemble rock music at all. The band's previous album, Alligator, was full of big rock songs and topped many critics and bloggers best of 2005 lists. This has largely been abandoned on the follow-up Boxer, a series of dark, mellow tracks, populated with low baritone vocals, horns, strings, pianos, etc.
If you've followed the band's previous work, you may be slightly disappointed by the lack of screaming or upbeat rock songs. There's nothing like "Slipping Husband", "Available", "Abel" or "Mr. November" to be found on here. What's left is a great mellow record that sounds like a continuation of the band's Cherry Tree EP from 2004. Highlights include "Brainy", "Slow Show", "Ada" and "Gospel". Give this record a little bit of time to grow on you. It was just released today, but I've been listening to a leaked copy for about two months (I bought an official copy today).
This band was originally labeled as alt-country, but has now become darker and more artsy than YHF-era Wilco. Each album has been an interesting change of pace and atmosphere. Check out their previous albums The National (2001), Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (2003), Cherry Tree Ep (2004) and Alligator (2005). I highly recommend them all, including this one. This is one of the best American bands making music today.
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