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.
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.