Sunday, 15 August 2010

Interpol - Interpol

A return from one of New York's greatest exports in the last decade. Interpol's new self-titled album takes us back to the dark side.

In my eyes, Interpol can't do no wrong. Their first album was incredible but since then they have been getting gradually less impressive, and I'm sorry to say the trend continues.

Don't get me wrong, there are some stand out songs here, but like the former albums, it starts strong and slows down to a gradual death by the end of the album. It's the same dark epic sound that they have latched on to and slowly moved to since their inception. Opener 'Success' I would say might be their strongest, new single 'Lights' perhaps a close second. But after a while the guitars drown out to more atmospheric sounds. Songs like 'All Of The Ways' hit a very personal note and was very close to the bone (for anyone who knows what crap I've been going through the last few months) and you can almost feel the pain that clearly surrounds this record, perhaps more so than their past work. However, the songs feel like they're missing something ... oh yeah! Carlos D! Now the bass lines feel empty and has been mixed into the track so deep it's often hard to hear it. It's a shame because the bass isn't taking any chances, playing strange notes or clashing with the guitars, instead it's buried inside the music. Carlos D will be sorely missed.

The guitar-work though is still inspiring and the ever-cool Paul Banks still has a voice to kill for, but the songs feel slightly diluted and perhaps too try-hard. They've clearly tried to go back slightly to Antics days but they can't help but try to make everything sad and melancholy and for some reason it just doesn't feel right. The lyrics are again dark, cut-up and provocative - they never fail to impress.

All in all I'm giving this album a hard time. Interpol have a unique sound that can't be matched and it's a lot better than other albums out there - I just have high standards to match them against as they are still one of my favourite bands. It's becoming harder and harder though with each record to justify how much I like their work but they still are creating sounds I won't be able to hear elsewhere, so it gets marks for that alone. At least they haven't caved in and tried to go mainstream and until that day, if it ever comes, I will stand by them through thick and thin. I just don't want the thin to get any thinner.

Rating: 7/10

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