favorite band of all-time. can't choose between alligator and boxer, i love them both too intensely. i think if i had two children i'd be able to pick a favorite between the two with greater ease. and if i had to give like a random person off the street one song to get into the national i guess i'd go with "apartment story".
Give me one song to help me get into them. Choose the song wisely.
Here's my favorite song by that National. In my opinion, it's just absolutely beautiful (The whole 29 years part is just amazing). It's off the album Boxer. I'd also suggest listening to songs such as "Abel," "Mistaken For Strangers," "Squalor Victoria," and "Bloodbuzz Ohio" for songs that are a bit more upbeat (just to see a different side to the band).
As for the the question at hand. I just recently got Alligator and it is a great album ("City Middle" might be my favorite song off the album). However, I haven't given it enough listens to rate it as high as Boxer and High Violet just yet. Even though I consider High Violet the second best album of the year (After Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs"), I think I'd rate Boxer a little higher.
Boxer is totally ****ing great. Amazingly great. So is Alligator, but they're still pretty much on par with each other.
Just checked RYM. They both are rated exactly 3.93 and have thousands of votes each. I mean. Just come on, the only thing that is ridiculous is that opinion! BOOM!
I know i'm completely serious. I did not like Boxer very much at all. Gave it about 40 listens to confirm that it really isn't all that great, good even. After Apartment Story, the 2nd half is a bore and completely forgettable. So i gave it a few more listens after High Violet came out, same thing. I got bored with it.
I know i'm not the only one with opinion. Its not even in my top 3 National Albums.
If you like singles then it's Boxer because the first half of that is amazing, if you like consistency then it's High Violet (every song imo is good on that album though I'm not a fan of the closer).
On Boxer, I'd say:
Fake Empire 4/4
Mistaken For Strangers 4/4
Squalor Victoria 4/4
Green Gloves 4/4
Slow Show 4/4
Apartment Story 4/4
Start A War 3/4
Guest Room 2/4
Racing Like A Pro 2/4
So it tales off in the end but really good in the first half. Overall, I like the sound that they captured on Boxer more so I'll go with that one. The new album is a disappointment imo....Humiliation, Sea of Love, Demons, and maybe Graceless or Don't Swallow The Cap are song good enough for me to put on my mp3 player.