Quick Review (LP): Interpol by Interpol

Interpol
Interpol
Matador; 2010

My Rating: C

Best Tracks: “Summer Well”, “Lights”, “Barricade”

The thing is I’ve never really loved Interpol. Even their first album, generally considered one of the best debuts of the last decade, only managed to plant three tracks under my skin. They’ve always seemed way too cold and a little too pleased with themselves. That being said, I will admit that those three tracks showed a lot of promise, but at this point, Interpol is beyond becoming what they might have been. When it comes to urban indie rock noir, The National crept up on Interpol and overtook them long ago. The theme here is apparently “success,” and predictably they sound bored with it. Their sound has become tired as well. Track titles like “Always Malaise” don’t suggest the irony I assume they are intended to, and the production, though huge, sounds sterile. All in all, I think Interpol’s story will soon come to an end. When all is said and done though, I guess they’ll always have “NYC.”

Pitchfork review
Metacritic reviews

Tracks of the Decade: “NYC” by Interpol

interpol_hattem_1“NYC”
by Interpol
from TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS (2002)

With New York City increasingly figuring as the all-encompassing and transcendent symbol of the modern world, it seems truly appropriate that the best song about the City of Man this decade was not Ryan Adams’ bouncy city-as-girl ode “New York, New York” but Interpol’s wounded hymn “NYC.” The Shelleyian aesthetic lumbers awkwardly forward in the swirling, echo-laden guitars and in Paul Banks’ paranoid croon, the atmosphere created serving to bring to life the nature of the city that never sleeps. Lyrically and melodically, it hints at the urban-lonesome work of Simon & Garfunkel songs like “The Boxer” and, appropriately, “The Only Living Boy in New York.” Banks sounds decisively lost in a world that is simultaneously spell-binding and terrifying. It’s as if Gershwin’s musical kaleidoscope has devolved into cold black and white hues. “New York cares” Banks howls. But for whom?