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3.8 out of 5 stars6
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 8 January 2009
I'd say Interpreter is one of Cope's more accessible albums - ploughing the same new age, hippy furrow that probably puts many people off, but boasting some sprawling rock-pop epic moments. And, just as Cope once chronicled the Poll Tax riots ('Leperskin' on Peggy Suicide), here he sings about the Newbury protest in 'Battle for the Trees'. How many other pop stars talk about what's going on today? His website (headheritage) is also well worth checking out - Cope is incredibly prolific and talks a lot of sense.
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I was rather late getting into Julian Cope. Sure I liked the hits he had when he was with the Teardrop Explodes, but after that I'd pretty much ignored him until I heard his 'Try, Try, Try' single. Having bought and liked that singles parent album '20 Mothers' I was hooked! "Interpreter' was the album that followed '20 Mothers' and in it's own way it's every bit as good. Singles 'I Come From Another Planet Baby' (never a truer word was spoken!) and the more acoustic and 60's tinged 'Plantary Sit In' see Cope in more commercial mode and are all the better for it. Most of the lyrics have new-age sentiments and I doubt I will ever understand Cope but tracks such as these help to bridge the divide and keep you interested and somehow keep you wanting to know more. Also commercial and accessable are 'Since I Lost My Head, It's Awl-Right' and 'Iv'e Got My TV & My Pills'. Rather more crazy but fun are the insessant 'Cheap New-Age Fix' and equally hilariously bizarre 'S.P.A.C.E.R.O.C.K With Me' that features a rather 'spaced out' lady opera singer!

The middle of the set see's Cope in 'arty noodling mode' and 'The Battle For The Trees' and 'Arthur Drugstore' are songs maybe you need to be on Cope's wavelength to understand. On the whole though the album hangs together well and Cope's drift from commerciality to new-age and back again helps to make the album an interesting listen. I might not understand the man or his lyrics but listen to 'Interpreter' and give it your best shot. I know one thing, Julian Cope is most definitely someone I'd like to meet for a beer and a chat!
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on 14 November 2000
Cope's albums from Peggy Suicide through to this one represent a sustained output of near genius. Interpreter is let down a little bit by its sometimes overtly silly lyrics, but is full of great tunes with not a dud track. Like all of Cope's albums of the 90s it is best lsitented to in a single sitting as the tempo builds and the order of the songs makes more sense than if listened to individually.
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on 20 October 2013
I have had this since it was released but had not listened to it till this week - in fact I have this so long, I listened to it on cassette. I stopped listening to JC around the Fried era but this is a cracking album, with all the melody, earworms and madness that made his early stuff great. I've been listening to it repeatedly over the past week and am enjoying it hugely. Think Hawkwind meets Inspiral Carpets meets New Order meets Teardrop Explodes meets some-other-self-indulgent-odd-sixties-stuff-I-don't-even-recognise. But very listenable. I'm off to chain myself to a tree now.
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on 10 April 2014
I love this album and had it on vinyl already. It has one of my favourite lines in it "the Police were confused cos Rosie wore shoes and I did a sharmanic dance in the breeze".
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on 12 March 2010
By now it was common for Mr Julian Cope to knock albums out just like he knocking one of the wrist. A arduous musical marathon mostly compiled of clunkers with moments of inspirational genius. Frustratingly he proved he could do it with Peggy Suicide and Jehovahkill, but it ends here. Interpreter was Julian's most ambitious album up to that time, certainly when it comes to broadening his general sound. More Songs about Monotheism and Motherships, Cope awkwardly revisits the themes he introduced on his early Nineties albums.

The sense of humour that Julian displays on this album is very much an acquired taste. He may not be the laughing boy or the bloody assizes of old, but there is a slyness almost conceitedness in his condemnation of humanity that ruins the fun. His more experimental tracks are peculiar and bizarre, as he attempts to blend Hawkwind with fake American operatic vocals. It has to be said though, it's a far more focused and cohesive affair than its predecessor 20 Mothers.

But alas its still an album which steadfastly sticks to Cope's particular "fake" new age ecologist spiritualist world view. The sound unconvincingly mimics late Sixties American west coast psychedelic fuzz-out, although it isn't very imaginative to the point of patronising. Overall, Julian showed he was becoming even more diverse as a composer, arranger, musician and lyricist as he attempts to explore new territory more than ever before. The results unfortunately aren't very satisfying or inspired. This album could have been a masterpiece with a little quality control and concerted effort.

As Cope became reacquainted with psychedelically past his trip and musical meanderings would make even Syd Barret cringe. I kept the faith on 20 mothers and here on Interpreter.

But these recordings along with all of his out put since are for hard core tree huggers only who worship the Cope like some reverent messianic creature. Cope loves the attention and plays to it and why should'nt he. His fans have become his disciples and as such his groupies, I have to admit the man does oozes charisma and generates strong stage presence with an razor sharp intelligent witt.

This is Cope out of control another scribble from his sketch pad.

If you love the 80s - Stay away
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