Interpol: Interpol

Categories: Review Roundup
​As we inch towards a rather fully-stocked Tuesday of new releases on September 14, the attention falls on today's slate of new music -- lead by New York post-punk revivalists Interpol.

Their magnificent debut Turn on the Bright Lights was beyond influential when it was released in 2002, opening the floodgates for numerous other bands to don their best Ian Curtis duds and try to play their bass like Peter Hooky. Little did Interpol know that they created a monster with Bright Lights, but the album had profound staying power, a testament to Interpol, the band's eponymous 4th album.

Where Bright Lights -- as well as Antics and Our Love to Admire -- were full of peppy, upbeat indie rock classics, Interpol decidedly slows things down and goes for the artsy effect here, much to the chagrin of some long-time fans. (Myself included). While there are some bright spots on the album, the whole can be easily summed up as the band's most flawed effort to date -- a crushing blow to those fans who waited patiently during those three years between albums.

What the rest of the critics are saying:

Click Track: The problem is that there's little to identify with on "Interpol." Interpol always seemed like a marriage of convenience, made up of people who wanted to be in a band and just happened to end up in Interpol...Interpol's disconnect is heard throughout the new album, which is directionless, bland and just generally boring.

Turn It Up: The songs trace the arch of an unraveling relationship, as need gives way to obsession, desperation and finally despair. Singer Paul Banks turns a few cutting phrases ("I did not take to analysis/So I had to make up my mind"), bringing a bit of dark humor to what is otherwise a somber, even morose, cycle of late-night soul-purging.

A.V. Club: Not all of Interpol is a drag, though the highlights come early: "Summer Well" cultivates an insistently danceable groove that culminates with one of those extended, bass-driven outros that made Interpol's name, and "Lights" shamelessly milks all the drama it can out of its slow-building climb to Paul Banks' pained chorus. But even in its best moments, Interpol is an echo of a more exciting time in the band's history, a period that seems increasingly distant with each new release.

Spin: When artists self-title albums, it's often a statement of purpose or of redefinition, but that's not the case here. Interpol sounds both strangely distant and overly familiar, like a band struggling to remember who they are.

Interpol is out now via Matador.

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