Interpol
Interpol


2.0
poor

Review

by Electric City EMERITUS
September 18th, 2010 | 236 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Interpol is Interpol is Interpol. And Interpol sucks.

So, in the past year Interpol promised to release an album that recaptures the sound of Turn on the Bright Lights and subsequently released an album that sounds absolutely nothing like Turn on the Bright Lights. Fine. Maybe it’s the bitter Weezer fan in me, but I find that that kind of ‘return-to-form’ jargon is generally unsubstantiated, pre-release hype, so I wasn’t necessarily heartbroken when I discovered Paul Banks’ bleat was as nasally monotonous and irritatingly bright as ever or when I found that a majority of the new songs are kind of shitty because that’s just Interpol. Of course their self-titled wouldn’t sound like Turn on the Bright Lights. Interpol and Turn on the Bright Lights have become separate entities, independent from each other because it’s just easier to acknowledge the distinction. One likes Turn on the Bright Lights, but isn’t necessarily a fan of Interpol because, well, Interpol sucks. Interpol sucks too.

I wish I could muster up the venom to tear this apart or dig into it enough to give it an all-encompassing critical analysis, but either course requires more thought than this record really earns. Sonically it’s about the same as Our Love to Admire and Julian Plenti is… Skyscraper, only with enough reverb to turn their generally cool rhythmic ideas into sludge. Banks still is as douchily cryptic as ever, though with less jaw-droppingly awkward sexual lines. Basically, it’s everything you’d expect, but more tame. Interpol are, as always, grim, depressed, “Malaise.” And again, they sound lost. Their songs meander, often hookless extensions of melodic ideas that aren’t that interesting to begin with. “Summer Well” seems to want to justify its existence with tropical flavoring, but Interpol doesn’t do anything with the thought, and similarly, “Try It On” is built off an immediately off-putting piano theme which is twisted and morphed until it eventually stops. Even the best songs, which would probably be “Success,” “Lights,” and “Barricade” are the best because they are built off signature Interpolian post-punk grooves, but they’re hardly developed, and don’t stand up to similar singles of their past.

I don’t want to say they were going through the motions in recording this album because that implies Interpol simply didn’t give a shit. In reality, I believe Interpol is the product of the band trying it’s damned hardest to be something, anything, they just have no idea what that is. And so I wonder if the promise of returning to the sound of Turn on the Bright Lights was actually a weight on the band, a shadow they didn’t want to be under but could not escape from. Interpol wants to recapture the brilliance they knew they had but they also want to grow, try something other than the same fucking syncopated gloomy bullshit they’ve been producing for years. I have this idea that Banks wants to be a bonafide rock star instead of a frontman for an act that is bigger than him, and to his credit, he’s clearly tried to be more vocally adventurous with each new album, but in the end he always reverts back to his monotonous self because that is what Interpol will be forever. They are torn between going back and going forward and instead go nowhere.

By this point it’s fairly common knowledge that the bassist, Carlos D, up till now far and away the best thing about Interpol, left after the recording of this album. I don’t know what they can do moving forward without their heartbeat, but as far as I can tell, they haven’t had one for quite some time.



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user ratings (567)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Emeritus
September 18th 2010


15762 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

basically, look for the symbolism in the album cover

ShadowRemains
September 18th 2010


24872 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Turn On the Bright Lights rules, this, not so much

bloc
September 18th 2010


45274 Comments


I enjoyed

Digging: Flotsam and Jetsam - Doomsday for the Deceiver

Bitchfork
September 18th 2010


7584 Comments


Paul Banks’

Banks's?

Electric City
Emeritus
September 18th 2010


15762 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

idk

East Hastings
September 18th 2010


4402 Comments


Banks's or Banks'. It goes either way, but the more accepted way to write it is Banks's

STOP SHOUTING!
September 18th 2010


748 Comments


i love that book.

Bitchfork
September 18th 2010


7584 Comments


Oh I thought it was Banks's because Paul Banks is one person. And if he was saying something like "the banks' collective ideal is to take our money from us" or something, then he would have been right. Wasn't sure, as I'm not exactly a grammar nazi.

Athom
Emeritus
September 18th 2010


17241 Comments


im siding with banks' as that's what i had been taught in elementary school

Electric City
Emeritus
September 18th 2010


15762 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i quelled the controversy carry on

DoubtGin
September 18th 2010


6880 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Obstacle 1





this is goddamn boring

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2010


15609 Comments


i love Spiteful Downer. good stuff. got your nice conversational flow as usual though and even had
that one "paragraph on the music"!

edit: haha, adding "Obstacle 1:" to the beginning of your summary would be clever

silverleaves
September 18th 2010


440 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

100% agree with review



recommended by reviewer list made me chuckle

Bitchfork
September 18th 2010


7584 Comments


The only problem I hae with your reviews, Adam is that I wish they were shorter. I liek the flow and the conversational stuff (not V.I.T.) but if I'm looking at your opinion I don't like sitting through five paragraphs of insignificant lyrical analysis or contextual information.

Romulus
September 18th 2010


8479 Comments


Really sweet review and I have no doubt that it's right but even Turn on the Bright Lights wasn't that amazing

Electric City
Emeritus
September 18th 2010


15762 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The only problem I hae with your reviews, Adam is that I wish they were shorter. I liek the flow and the conversational stuff (not V.I.T.) but if I'm looking at your opinion I don't like sitting through five paragraphs of insignificant lyrical analysis or contextual information.




but this is three paragraphs and has no lyrical analysis??? not trying to be a dick, i just dont know what you mean

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2010


15609 Comments


4 paragraphs u fuckin JERK

edit: if i had to guess, his main beef might be just like how, if adam downer is reviewing weezer, we
know he's gonna talk about how weezer suck, or that he's gonna talk about how people talk about how
weezer suck. and then maybe talk about the music. or interpol, etc. maybe it's just a matter of "less
about the band (and context), more about the album (and music)"

that might not make sense but idk. i mean i dont really have a problem with it but just speculating

Lucid
September 18th 2010


8798 Comments


Turn on the Bright Lights wasn't even good.


robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2010


15609 Comments


TOTBL is good but in small bits. After a while I just get tired of their sound--even though their
songwriting is good-not-great.

Electric City
Emeritus
September 18th 2010


15762 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i think turn on the bright lights is a classic, but people generally acknowledge that that is far and away their best album and theyve been pretty bad since



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