Interpol – Interpol
Jeff Pearson, September 7, 2010
Originally published by Life’s Sweet Breath
Interpol return with their fourth studio album, the self-titled Interpol. The band has undergone some stylistic changes, as well as changes within the actual make-up of the band (multi-instrumentalist Carlos Dengler departed earlier in the year) since exploding onto the scene with 2002’s Turn On The Bright Lights.
The album has the dark dance-floor vibes that will provide Interpol fans with a feeling of familiarity, but we’re far removed from 2002. Much of the raw emotion captured in their first two releases has been replaced with the “brighten the corners” mentality of Our Love To Admire. No edge has been left rough, the sound that garnered Interpol such praise has been refined to a science.
Despite this, there are huge highs to match the dismal lows. “Lights” builds and swells into a throb of intense drums and guitar with Paul Banks cleverly telling us “That’s why I hold you here”, as if to say “this track has built into a beast so we’re going to hold you here for as long as we can”. “All Of The Ways” is another track that takes a more patient approach to the craft, and belays percussion altogether. As it turns out, it’s one of the best tracks on the album, with haunting backup vocals and dark synth lines to go along with them. The album ends on a bright note, with “The Undoing”. The track starts off with beautifully uplifting guitar picking and drum flourishes decorating it. It soon breaks apart into a dark groove with disembodied voices pleading as they pan across the channels.
Ultimately, Interpol shows you that this band is truly at its best when it sits back and lets something substantial take shape, as opposed to the more structured approach of really throwing a hook in your face, such as the lead single “Barricade”. The album has some definite moments of dark beauty that we’ve come to love from the band, but the attempts at shimmering straightforwardness fall quite short.