Interpol
Interpol


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
October 17th, 2012 | 27 replies | 1,625 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An ambitious, and for the most part, successful experiment by Interpol.

Looking back at Interpol’s breakthrough album Turn on the Bright Lights and seeing their drastic change when comparing it to 2010’s Interpol, their progression as a band is somewhat disappointing. Gone are the fun, lighthearted songs Interpol were known for and in their place are gloomy, thought-provoking ones. Our Love to Admire already showed a different side of Interpol, placing more emphasis on keyboards and Interpol takes that even further, having them in nearly every song. Yet at the end of the day, Interpol is an Interpol album, and although it’s the most ambitious record they’ve come out with, it still has enough 'Interpol' to please their fans and takes enough risks to stand out from the rest of their catalog.

Unlike Interpol’s other albums where Paul Banks’ vocals were a highlight, his vocals on Interpol are the worst part of the album. Unfortunately they’re almost omnipresent, even overlapping themselves unnecessarily throughout. Banks’ tone itself doesn’t sound very exciting either, not that he ever had much enthusiasm in his voice, but in previous albums he at least sounded awake. Here he sounds dull and half asleep. Plus he has an awful effect on his voice, which makes the omnipresent, overlapping vocals even more irritable. The melodies themselves are decent - Banks can still write the occasional catchy chorus, but this record isn’t nearly as cheery as previous Interpol albums.

This is easily Interpol’s darkest album. Whether it’s from the increased amount of keyboards compared to previous Interpol albums, tremolo picking from the guitarist, or the effects on the vocals themselves, each song has a lingering mood about it. “Always Malaise (The Man I Am)” shows this best. The first half is musically Interpol’s most somber song, being very slow with bleak piano and strings in the background while Banks sings some cryptic ‘malaise’ lyrics. The tone of the song changes dramatically in the second half of the song where it becomes driving and uplifting but unlike anything off their previous albums. It sounds full, almost epic, with glaring brass in the background complimenting the fitting vocal trade offs. “Memory Serves” does something similar, beginning atmospheric and dark and ending rather optimistic, demonstrating Interpol toying with dynamics and mood more than ever before.

Aside from the overall vibe of the album, a number of songs on the album are good old-fashioned Interpol, namely the singles. “Barricade,” “Success,” and “Summer Well” are groovy songs with catchy hooks scattered about, but what makes these grooves different is that they're not bass driven - in fact, the bass is hardly audible. Carlos Dengler is an excellent bassist, or was, and his presence here is practically non-existent. Lead single “Barricade” features some interesting bass lines but that’s about as far as it goes. The emphasis is placed mostly on keyboards and vocals this time around, which isn't exactly the best direction for Interpol. “Try It On” is a great song, but an entire song revolving around a bland piano lick can get a bit tedious especially if there’s no interesting bass to back it up.

All things considered, I think Interpol was an experiment, and a successful one at that. It’s definitely their most cohesive record to date. Some songs are almost required for them to be heard within the context of the album otherwise they wouldn’t make sense, such as the ethereal “All of the Ways” being an uninteresting, anti-climactic stand-alone song yet a necessary segue from the upbeat “Try It On” into the beautiful, orchestral album closer “The Undoing.” Quality wise, Turn on the Bright Lights and Antics are head and shoulders above this album, but the sheer amount of experimentation and advancement in Interpol’s song-writing makes Interpol a worthy addition to their discography.



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user ratings (369)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2012



20631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it took a while to grow on me but this really is a great album. about on par with our love to admire imo

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
October 17th 2012



18007 Comments


the kings of neo post punk wave core

Digging: Autechre - Draft 7.30

tarkus
October 17th 2012



5560 Comments


sux

Pentagon
October 17th 2012



1998 Comments


^ bro what about kings of leon!!!

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2012



6360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my least favorite album of theirs, but it's still really great. Having heard the songs live really made me appreciate the record more.

Digging: Shackleton - Deliverance Series No. 1

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2012



19437 Comments


Not sure if it reads like a 4 but another well written review man, pos'd.

Digging: Musk Ox - Woodfall

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2012



20631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks man. this is in between a 3.5 and a 4 for me but i rounded up cause it just has this charm about it, idk but i love it

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2012



19437 Comments


No problem you're a good writer just quit arguing about BTBAM and Periphery and complaining about every 'Troll' rating and you're cool lol

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2012



19437 Comments


lol it's funny when people correct my spelling in a thread

Point1
October 17th 2012



197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love to see a review of this... very underappreciated. It's not consistent at all, and there are plenty of things wrong with it, but it's still solid and I like the direction it suggests the band heading in.

Barricade, Try it On, and Success are great songs, and the only really weak ones are the last two.

bloc
October 17th 2012



34669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoooooooooo!

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

KILL
October 17th 2012



70573 Comments


wow

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2012



20631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

what?

KILL
October 17th 2012



70573 Comments


unbeeelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2012



20631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the album rules dude

KILL
October 17th 2012



70573 Comments


im singin kate bush dont mind me

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2012



20631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ohh gotcha

peaks40
October 17th 2012



2740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

saw them play this album live, its okay , not great dude

WeepingBanana
October 17th 2012



10043 Comments


Love to see a review of this... very underappreciated.

the average rating is 0.1 lower than your rating.

band is bad

silentpotatosfan
October 17th 2012



173 Comments


nm weeping just sitting wbu



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