The National - Central Park SummerStage, 8/4/08

One of the people on the Internet writing about music that I enjoy reading the most is Yancey Strickler over at eMusic's 17dots.com. It's a funny thing because I rarely like what he writes about nearly as much as I like what he writes. His is a way with words worth knowing. So, when he writes nice things about a band that I like, I feel this strange one-sided camaraderie. It's similar in a way to the secret smile you afford yourself when you catch an otherwise typically stoic New-Yorker-in-subway-mode smiling about something some other passenger just did that you also were tempted to smile about. See what I'm getting at here? Me neither. Basically, I just wanted to quote the guy about The National, and here I've gone and written a whole paragraph of anti-content. One time Yancey said this:
The Boxer is just so subtle. I’ve talked about the record with both Joe and Todd in the past couple of days, and that’s the word we all keep returning to: subtle. This is a freshwater album, the slight tugs to Matt Berninger’s voice more in line with the slow currents of a mountain-top lake or a dragonfly-patrolled stream than any ocean that I know. It’s also a very American album, a fact that I am certain of, but have had trouble pinpointing exactly why that’s true.
Being able to watch a band like The National, a band with such rich sounds, helps you to hear parts of songs that you otherwise might not have noticed. Know what I mean? Well, I know exactly what I mean, and I'm not going to say anything further on the matter except that being close enough to the band to see what was going on, I came away from the show with that line about subtlety running through my head. The line about the record being distinctly American, too, but that I think had more to do with drinking a beer and being outside. You shoulda been there.

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