I’ll admit, when I first heard The National (Boxer), I had to listen the album a few times before I truly loved it. Lead singer, Matt Berninger, has one of those voices you either love or hate. If you’re one of those types of people who listens to music for the melody, but doesn’t care for lyrics, this band isn’t for you.
Having said that, I’ve been a fan for a while, but when I saw them perform at Radio City Music Hall, I became more than a fan. The sound engineer for that concert should be awarded a medal. It was the most perfect mix I’ve ever heard live, which is saying something as they had no fewer than ten people on stage at any time.
If you’ve seen The National live, you know that Matt Berninger is a lanky fellow, who does a lot of shoegazing, and sort of mumbles/drones through the songs. I love it!
What I love about this song are the lyrics. The setup is this guy who has just broken up with his girlfriend, and sees her out, when she had said she was sick. He’s kind of creeping on her, sees her walking at night, etc. which brings you to a perfect place for the chorus:
“I didn’t want to be your ghost, didn’t want to be anyone’s ghost…but I don’t want anybody else, I don’t want anybody else.”
It’s such an easy thing to relate to – unrequited love. It’s the worst feeling in the world when you’re not over someone, but they’re over you. If you feel like they’re the only one for you, it makes it even worse. This song is beautiful, haunting, and rings so true.