Song Of The Day

The National: Conflicted Enough to 'Start a War'

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  • "Start a War"
  • Album: Boxer
  • Artist: The National
  • Label: Beggars Banquet
  • Released: 2007
 

Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "Start a War"
  • Artist: The National
  • CD: Boxer
  • Genre: Indie-Rock
The National plays atmospheric, nuanced rock that can sound threatening, resigned, or both.

hide captionThe National plays atmospheric, nuanced rock that can sound threatening, resigned, or both.

The National's atmospheric, nuanced rock sounds most at home under the hazy neon light of late-night diners and along deserted streets. As The National's Matt Berninger sings in a low, worldly baritone — "Do you really think you can just put it in a safe behind a painting, lock it up and leave?" — jewel-toned guitars quietly chime around him.

A lovely tension permeates "Start a War," as Berninger's words suggest an inevitable clash of swords. The line "Walk away now, and you're gonna start a war" sounds like equal parts proclamation, threat and statement of weary resignation, as the song's apparent contradictions are bolstered by Bryan Devendorf's expert drumming, a low rumble that sounds both thundering and restrained. The slow, majestic sway of his bandmates' layered orchestra suggests a denouement — a changed world after the tragic hero is dead and gone — even as the song's momentum continues to build.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Purchase Featured Music

Boxer

Purchase Music

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: Boxer
  • Artist: The National
  • Label: Beggars Banquet
  • Released: 2007
 

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Song Of The Day