The fact that Brooklyn, N.Y. (by way of Cincinnati), indie rockers the National released one of my favorite albums of the past couple of years -- 2005's "Alligator" -- has me eagerly awaiting the release of the band's new album, "Boxer," which is due May 22. "Fake Empire" is the first I've heard from the upcoming disc and it seems like all the things I loved about "Alligator" are in place, chief among them Matt Berninger's rich baritone, lyrics of exquisite gutter poetry and the expert way the band builds tension from the barest elements.
-- David Marchese
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