Another Black Session, this time from The National. Basically, this Alligator performed live; they don’t even touch anything from their two prior albums, focusing on Alligator and the Cherry Tree EP instead. There’s some insanely good stuff here, with Beringer’s vocals full of conviction, and the instrumentation taking a more prominent role. Highlights include ‘City Middle’, ‘Mr. November’ and ‘Cherry Tree’.
The best tracks posted on SC over the past week;
If the National were subtle on Alligator, then they’re downright elusive on their latest LP, Boxer. Everything is understated, left to grow on you through repeated listens. It’s a good dozen or so listens before you start to appreciate the album for what it is. I imagine that choosing a single for Boxer was a nightmare; singles are meant to be immediately catchy, something you like the minute you hear it, but Boxer is full of slow growers. So, they chose the darkest, most aggressive track on the album, ‘Mistaken For Strangers’. ‘Strangers’ is the closest Boxer comes to a rock-out like ‘Lit Up’, with it’s tight, quick instrumentation and mournful lyrics. Its video mirrors its claustrophobic nature perfectly, shooting the band from too-close angles in close quarters. Boxer will be released tomorrow (5/22) via Beggars Banquet.
The National – Mistaken For Strangers.mp3
I’ve only listened to this twice, as I just woke up, but I already like it more than La Blogotheque’s video version. That version had a certain low-key charm to it, but the official album one has a bit more of an edge to it. You can look for a full piece on The National’s Boxer sometime next week, after the Cassadaga one. Which, by the way, is coming along quite nicely.
The National – Ada.mp3 (Removed Upon Request)
While Alligator was the album that introduced most to The National’s newly expanded sound, it’s not actually the first place they showcased it. A few months prior to releasing Alligator, they released Cherry Tree EP. This EP is a fan favorite for a reason. It was the transition between the old, quiet National, to the new, grander one. While it’s now overshadowed by it’s little brother, Cherry Tree EP still remains worth a listen for anyone interested in The National.
It’s not too late to get into the most underrated album of 2005, but it will be soon. The National’s new album hits in just a few weeks, but most people still haven’t heard their previous masterpiece, Alligator. Despite receiving high marks from fans and critics alike, Alligator remains almost unknown to most. Here’s your chance to fix that; I’m offering you these three mp3’s to introduce you to The National. Don’t let Boxer suffer the same fate as Alligator.
Three things have come to my attention concerning Volta recently; first the cover art:
Gorgeous, huh? Also, another tracklist has appeared, and I think this one may be real:
01. Earth Intruders
03. Dull Flame
05. I See Who You Are
09. Declare Independence
10. My Juvenile
Finally, a fake leak made it’s way onto a high profile music site tonight, so be wary of any “leaks” in the next few days
Also, a proper leak of Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky has surfaced, throwing the P2P network into a simultaneous orgasm. Finally, two new tracks from The National’s Boxer have made an appearance. Enjoy.
It always shocks me to think that The National’s superb 2005 Alligator went almost entirely unnoticed by critics. It’s not as though fans didn’t flock to it; many rightfully hailed it as one of the best albums of ’05. Luckily, it doesn’t look like their upcoming album, The Boxer, will suffer the same critical fate. With critics and fans already latching on to it, i t would be a pretty tough album to ignore. So, it’s my pleasure to present to you two tracks from The Boxer; ‘Start A War’ and ‘Ada’. While these tracks aren’t directly from the album, they should give us an idea of what they should sound like. At this point, I love The National far too much to offer any criticism. Enjoy.