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Interpol is the New York band's self-titled fourth studio album, and comes some eight years after acclaimed debut Turn on the Bright Lights. The album is the last to feature bass-player Carlos D and features the singles "Lights".
Interpol, in their own way, have had an osmosis effect on the UK in the eight years since they came to attention with 2002 debut Turn on the Bright Lights, during a period that historians have now come to refer as "the post-Strokes era". They’ve gone on to quietly sell over a million albums in their native US, and even charted at number two here with their previous album, 2007’s Our Love to Admire. Surely a sign that their stealth approach had paid off, and the world was theirs on a plate.
When the band announced this album, their fourth, via the online release of Lights, they also mentioned the departure of founding bassist Carlos Dengler – he does play on the album, though. For many, his unique look was the identifiable aesthetic hook of the band, and you can’t help but think something’s been lost with his leaving. Add to that the recent cancellation of tour supporting U2, after Bono hurt his back, and there’s distinct feeling that momentum may’ve been lost.
Which is a shame, as Interpol the album is very good indeed. The band’s knack for sounding icily detached, with Paul Bank’s clinical cynicism of a delivery always to the fore, betrays a permeating warmth that was missing from Our Love to Admire. While the two lead-off tracks, Lights and Barricade, may seem a bit by numbers for long-time fans, repeated plays, especially in the context of the full album, pay dividends. These fit perfectly among the other eight numbers, highlights of which include Summer Well and the closing trio of the piano-lead Try It On, the strafing gazery of All of the Ways, and elegant closer The Undoing.
There’s still the chance that this album will finally push them into the stratosphere – you wish Interpol were globally huge, you really do – although it’s likely that their future won’t be written until after Dengler’s tour-replacements have helped broaden the band’s palette more. Until then, this album will help illuminate those dark corners sufficiently.--Ian Wade
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Top Customer Reviews
Contrary to the 'running out of ideas' line of argument that I've seen, I think this album demonstrates a developing of the band's sound beyond 'antics' and 'our love...'. Subtle, I grant you, but there has been progress!
Paul sounds wistful and full of regrets which is just how we like him, I'm sure. His delivery is cold and dispassionate but I don't interpret this as 'bored'. For me, it adds weight to his confessions of bitterness and loss. Listen to the backing vocals of 'Lights': this is not a man going through the motions!He sounds in turn bitter, cynical, angry and at times downright obsessive and creepy. Good man.
The album plays well, it sounds very much like interpol but with a richer sound than was evident on 'antics' and 'our love...'. It seems unfair to compare it to 'turn on the bright lights' because that was 10 years ago - it's a very different beast. It's like comparing a student party with a dinner party - I have fond memories of passing out in flower beds but I much prefer conversation over a glass of wine these days. That said, I've only given this album 4* because there's nothing that comes close to 'leif erikson'. Or 'untitled'. Or the barely contained exuberance at the start of 'Roland'. Oh, I'm such a sucker for nostalgia...
I , though , still find present in their records the qualities that made me love that band so much in the first place : an extremely dark romantism , Paul Banks striking baritone and their strong , punctual songwritting , " born out of a forced discipline " as drummer Greg Drudy has said in an recent interview .
Lyrics rarely say something specific in rock music and here its no different . What's so capturing instead is this whole sense of unintentional menace of enigmatic lines like " I've got two secrets but i only told you one ..." from " Success " or those nightmarishly oh-la-la's towards the end of " Memory Serves " . Stand out tracks include " Barricade " , " Success " , " Lights " and ( personal favourite ) " Try It Out " with it's devastating climax . Critics may follow trends but music fans know better and should stick with this talented group for the long run .
When I first heard it, I thought it was dreadful. It improves slightly with each listen but plateaus after the fifth or sixth listen. The more experimental tracks like Always Malaise are destined to be listened to a few times and never again, whilst the other tracks are second rate versions of stuff they did better on previous albums. It's sad to see such a classy band deteriorating like this.
I have to say I've grown weary of reading the reviews here endlessly harping on about this being nowhere near as good as TOBL. To me that just smacks of 'people who were there at the beginning' not really liking the fact the band has wider exposure now and that the greater fan base has taken 'their' precious band away from them. TOBL has always been the weakest (and overrated) of the four albums anyway in my opinion.
I can't see the problem that people have with the new direction the band has taken. It really is no different to the evolution that Radiohead took from The Bends to HTTT though OKC and KA. It didn't do their career and musical creativity any harm did it?!
My fave track here is Safe Without. Bizarrely no-one seems to have mentioned this track in previous reviews either.
Standout track though has to be Lights. Utterly immense it typifies the whole thing Interpol are about. Incredible bass, spacious and parsimonious use of guitar, and vocals delivered with restrained menace.
Four albums. All different. Simple as.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good CD . As a big fan of Interpol, I really like their music but this one is good but not as great as Antics. But still a nice one to have. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dela
Beneath the plodding there is still a glimmer of the Interpol of Turn on the bright lights and Antics.Published 22 months ago by Guy T. Smith
Not their best work by a long way. The first two albums are just SO much better than this. It's a shame because i really wanted this to be a return to form. xPublished 23 months ago by Dr Emma V Morris
... you can get really. You will grow to love this album. I promise! Go on, you know you wanna!Published on 13 Mar. 2014 by The Elusive Stranger
Still the Paul Banks vocals, in my humble opinion his voice and lyrics make Interpol special. I love Barricade as a song. (Apologies oh voiceless one! for not being helpful!)Published on 20 Mar. 2013 by I write reviews on the toilet
I really love this band! I find great how they make a new cd every time without stagnating in the old one. You can't miss this! :)
Highly recommended ;)