Interpol
Turn on the Bright Lights


5.0
classic

Review

by Adam Turner-Heffer USER (38 Reviews)
September 30th, 2007 | 33 replies | 6,497 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the most incredible Indie-Rock/pop albums of the Naughties decade, this is where a now almost un-recognisable Interpol started.

2 of 3 thought this review was well written

Disclaimer; Didn't like my review, thought I'd try again.

Retrospect is an interesting thing, now that we have another Interpol release to reflect on that, like 'Antics', went further away from moody atmospherics in favour of big choruses (although I'm not even sure if I can grant 'Our Love to Admire' even that) it gives us time to reflect on the finer things that we really appreciate. For me, that is definitely this record. It's kind of a sad state of affairs when, your band comes out of nowhere, gets noticed, but not too noticed, and there's people telling you that you could get more noticed, if you started being a bit more conventional.

Now, watch this; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7mdy8f9Yvg

Interpol's first ever live television performance on Letterman, playing the Radio Edit version of 'PDA'. The performance itself is brilliant, awful and interesting at the same time. The nerves were clearly getting to this still very fresh faced band as this was their first push into the limelight. As a result, Paul's vocals are a wreck and there's a couple of off-timed moments, but you can see how the band were being who they wanted to be and how much it means to them (and also Dan K's first attempt at his now trademark dance move)

So, this is the unhinged, unbiased, undeterred Interpol that were doing EXACTLY what they wanted to do; something I don't think they've ever fully been able to re-create since. Why is this a perfect album? Because, every single member of this band contribute something amazing in every single song. They are all, undoubtedly at the top of their respective games here and that alone creates an amazing energy.

So, paint that with the wonderfully inspiring streets and frantic culture of NYC, songs about heartache and yearning, and a general mood and atmosphere that can rival Godspeed You! Black Emperor! (in particular, THAT break in 'PDA' or 'Untitled') and you have one of the most incredible (and unlikely) albums to have come out of this side of the millennia. This is so packed full of catchy, charming lyrics, brilliantly carved and carrying guitar lines, and a rhythm section that is as tight and exciting as a classic Rhythm and Blues act, that you truly have something glorious to behold here. It's not just the moments where Paul Banks moves away from his trademark monotone voice (or whenever Dan chips in) to generate some real emotion, it's witnessing, on record, a band so finely in tune together that they could create nothing but a collection of incredibly tight pop songs that have such a feeling of hope and togetherness that you truly believe anything could happen - The opening 'THWACK' of the snare drum that kicks off 'Obstacle 1' and the album as a whole is one of the most terrifying yet exciting sounds to ever grace a pop song, to which Sam and Carlos, and Paul and Dan respectively interweave guitar hits as well as Sam's and Carlos' wonderful jobs of straying off the rhythm into jam territory, but not so much that it loses the rhythm completely, or the all out, almost aggressive jam at the end of 'The New' after it starts off as quite a minimal and touching song.

This is truly essential listening, but not only listening, it's feeling, too. They're, as already mentioned, subtly technical, but also emotional ('Untitled', 'Stella was a Diver and She was Always Down'), and even occasionally, chirpy ('Say Hello to the Angels', 'Roland') when it is completely nessecary to give this an impressive and impregnable flow and atmosphere and is, truly, an incredible body of work.

As a bassist and a lyricist, I don't think there is an album that has inspired or moved me more than this one. This is by no means my favourite or most important record, but it is a huge influence on me, my bass playing (I play in a Emo band and still Carlos' bass lines are my biggest point of reference) and my lyrics and thoughts. Ignore lazy journalists who just clump this band in with it's obvious 80's, Mostly British influences, this is one of the most refreshing, exciting, passionate and original records I've ever heard, and it should be yours too.



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user ratings (1491)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Justanothernimrod
September 30th 2007



478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Ok so, this is my second and much better attempt at reviewing this. It probably isn't nessecary because it get's enough press as it is, but I wanted to express my opinions on it better as I consider it in my top 5 albums of all time.

I arguably don't actually give enough detail as to what makes this such a special record, but that's perhaps because only by listening to it yourself can you conjure up such thoughts and images.

It is very much an energetic and atmospheric experience, but also a personal one.

anyway, yeah, see what you think.

tribestros
September 30th 2007



918 Comments


This is a GREAT review, Short Sweet and to the point and an awesome album as well.

Apocalyptic Raids
September 30th 2007



810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great album

AtavanHalen
October 1st 2007



17927 Comments


I personally wouldn't have given this record a five.
You justify your rating, though- good work.

Justanothernimrod
October 1st 2007



478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

thanks guys.

It's fair that maybe not everyone would so go as far as calling it a classic, but I think virtually anyone should be able to at least appreciate what a great piece of work this is, that really came out of nowhere, a total surprise hit.

And to think, I didn't like this band until they released 'Evil' and 'C'mere'

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2007



15690 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Great album, Great review.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins® [AMDISCS]

McP3000
October 6th 2007



3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a five for this is a big stretch...

Justanothernimrod
October 10th 2007



478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

not for me, this is one of my personally most influential and emotional records.

cbmartinez
October 11th 2007



2525 Comments


my best friend's from poland and um, he has a beard


great album, but Interpol just seems like they can't do anything with their sound, but this album is that sound at it's best. Fantastic.

Justanothernimrod
October 11th 2007



478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

aye, it seems a shame that they're filtered themselves with time.

That's why I'd reccommend 'Boxer' By The National to anyone who likes this album, but they've kept their creative identity in a similar vein xo

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2007



15690 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I don't like Boxer...

tomwaits4noman
December 11th 2007



91 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review....
Pity that things started to fall apart with Antics,
In terms of creating moods and matching Joy Divisions atmospherics with stadium rock hooks they did a bloody great job....

IT may not be groundbreaking some of the lyrics fall flat but the rush of Say Hello to the Angels, the slower delicate moments for instance make up for this....

If you want to hear more good bass check out Joy Division and early Janes Addiction (Eric Avery is a legend)

Justanothernimrod
December 11th 2007



478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

you should, Boxer is absolutely amazing.

And, after seeing this band live twice last week, I've realised Antics is too. It's just a lot more subtle/it's production lets the utter HUGEness of it down at times.

Serpento
December 11th 2007



2351 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Quite a blah album/band.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2007



15690 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

^Go listen to ska.

skullcrusher149
January 31st 2008



560 Comments


"PDA" is quite a good song

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2008



15690 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

god this album rules.

cbmartinez
March 2nd 2008



2525 Comments


yeah it really does, perfectly recorded, every song is fantastic

jontheatheist
March 22nd 2008



79 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Few albums seem dirty and clean at once. And to nimrod, not all bands with baritones sound the same.

natey
March 22nd 2008



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is perfect.



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