58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Like Joy Division!
I bought this album because people told me it sounded just like Joy Division, who are my all-time favorite band. Well, somebody has to say this and it's going to be me- Interpol don't really sound much like Joy Division, and all the reviewers who say otherwise are just demonstrating that they've never really listened all that closely to either band. Yes, Interpol are a...
Published on April 5, 2003 by Christopher S. Thompson
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising debut
This is a promising debut, at least more so than albums like "Pablo Honey" and "Boys Don't Cry" were.
I can sort of understand the Joy Division comparisons since these songs have atmospheric guitar, but I think the similarities end there. It's important to remember that JD were breaking new musical ground when they came out with what they were doing in the...
Published on July 6, 2004 by M. D Poe
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Like Joy Division!,
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Debut Album of the Year 2002?,
51 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NYC by way of Manchester, England - Great Record Indeed!,
Like the Strokes did last year, Interpol has dug up some much needed gritty influence of the past. Where the Strokes was a lighter pop affair, Interpol has gone right into the alleys and seedy clubs of both Manchester England and NYC. The record takes on a lot from Joy Division, Talking Heads and even Television. But it's the spooky quality of Joy Division that's adds some drama and beauty to the dark landscape within. Interpol draws from the past but keeps things sounding new and fresh. Songs like Untitled and NYC are as impressive as any I've heard this year. Like the Manchester music of the late 70's and early 80's, Interpol trys in vein to break out of their grime-laden roots. The result is an honest and soulful exchange delivered with art-ful passion. Matador have once again expanded their library and stumbled upon some truely great rock-n-roll. Turn on your ears to this great disc!
178 of 227 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Over-reacting is Getting Tiresome,
How can this possibly receive 1 star? Listen to it. It sounds good. The sound is fresher than most stuff made today. These are true statements.
Others give it 1 star because it is so derivative. Yeah, maybe... but does that make it terrible? Hardly. Most bands today don't even hope to have decent source material; they're busy trying to make retarded rhymes or sound disturbed... some are so lame they even name themselves things like "Disturbed". Interpol is not as awful as all that.
OK, now to address the "this is the best thing since orgasms" crowd. Wrong again. All of the "It's derivative" people do have a point. Can you see that? This stuff sounds so much like 80's postpunk that it makes all of us over 25 go back and pull out the original 80's postpunk bands. Do not try to hide from this fact or bury it and say it's untrue. Nothing that is so closely connected to its source material can be ascribed the 'best ever' label.
Others have said that it's the only album in their vast collection that they can listen to start to finish. Well 10 CDs ain't exactly vast then. I've got over 200 that I'm happy to go coast-to-coast with... and yes, this is one of them. Interpol is very good all the way through.
In sum, let's not overreact or exaggerate so much that we all look foolish. If you like it that much then a 5-star rating makes sense, but it just isn't the best album ever made. And it sure isn't the worst... Haven't you guys heard Milli Vanilli or Loverboy?
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arrested development (pun-?-intended...),
So is this true then? Do Interpol sound like the Psychedelic Furs or the Joy Division or the Smiths, etc. etc. etc? Hmm, well, in all honesty, when i first heard the album i thought i heard tens of hints and references to several legendary bands of the 80s. Nevertheless, i couldn't come up with a direct comparison. Yes, Interpol combine many elements from the aforementioned bands while at the same time standing their ground with more than enough decency (that IS possible, you know)..
But, it would be unfair to compare these New Yorkers with the Strokes (the Strokes?? please..) or any of these "new" post 80s-postpunk-post whatever-post me a postcard bands. Why? Well, cuzz Interpol are simply better than that lot and because they emit a lot more pathos and involvement in their music. Sound good enough so far?
At their most capturing Interpol are best at their darkest. And dark they are mostly throughout as they narrate everyday stories which are paradoxically rare for the everyman.
Obviously they aren't rediscovering the moon but lets be fair here. There's a reason why the rock scene is stagnant these days and that reason is that it has become damn hard to sound original any more, if not impossible. On that term, this album is one of truly wonderful quality. And, lets face it, what are your choices if you wanna hear straight-out emotional, angsty and intriguing guitars? Limp Bizkit? I didn't think so either...
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy Division? Turn on the speakers.,
Anyways, onto the actual album....
All the songs seem to have sort of a 'dark' element to them without sounding too depressing or angry. The first track is mainly an instrumental one, without many vocals. This is one of my least favorite tracks as I find it repetitive and even kind of boring at times. "Obstacle 1", however, is one of the best songs on the album. The guitar chords are so simple and don't require much technique but with Paul's vocals howling over the guitar, it sounds incredible. People often say Paul sings in monotone and that they don't feel any emotion in his voice. If you are one of those people, listen to this song and you will be proven wrong. If you listen to the song as a whole, you might not have much reaction to it, but if you listen to every single element of the song (the drums, the guitar, the bass, and especially the vocals) separately you start to feel it. The same emotion can be felt in "The New". I can see how in this song he does mostly sing in a monotone fashion, yet I still feel the emotion in his lyrics. The song is pretty dynamic too, changing from a mellow beginning to a more emotional 'chorus' with Paul crying out his lyrics, and then finally changing to an almost fully instrumental ending of the next 4 minutes or so. Once again, this instrumental is ridiculously simple, with the guitar chords hardly changing but it doesn't require any impressive skills to make it sound mesmerizing.
Now I have to mention "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down". This is SUCH a great song. It's somewhat mellow, dynamic, and the drums and bass work incredibly well together. Here I do agree that there's not too much emotion in his voice except when he sings "she broke away, broke away". It's like I hear him WANTING to belt those lyrics out even louder. When he sings "Stella...Stella....Oh Stella....Stella I love you, Stella I love you, Stella I love you" I have to close my eyes and concentrate those tiny, almost inaudible vocal changes. When you concentrate that hard, you feel the emotion practically exploding within the song.
Now....Leif Erikson....when I first listened to the album in its entirety, I thought the song was boring and I skipped over it every time. I didn't start to like it until a month or more after listening to the album. It's a beautiful closer with strange lyrics, but somehow they compel me.
Excellent debut; I don't know how they could've made it any better than it is.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling in its (supposed) Simplicity,
Be that as it may, I argue that the Joy Division tag Interpol is constantly being given is extraneous. There is an inherent similarity, and comparisons are inevitable. But I think that what Interpol as a collective bring to the music is completely unique from Joy Division. After all, Interpol themselves don't even cite Joy Division as a notable influence on their musical development. Consequently, it seems the boys have gone on their own musical journey, and yielded comprable results, manifest in different ways.
The "gothic" tag too often given to Interpol is completely erroneous. While it may perhaps be accurate for Joy Division, these are NOT the same bands, contexts, or even sounds. The fact is, Interpol can be sad, and can be lugubrious, but can also be cheeky and energetic. For every "Untitled" and "NYC", there are songs like "Say Hello to the Angels" and "Roland", odes to lusty desire and Polish, knife-carrying best friends respectively.
Paul Banks seems to take himself too seriously at times, and at others not at all, on the one hand hoping that living free is not behind him, on the other encouraging a young woman he fancies to "1, 2, 3- do [him]". His lyrics sometimes toe the line of the ludicrous, but ultimately, this man is driven by an intellectual and symbolic objective (His "bad", dangerous girl doesn't drink, party, or sleep around; she can read). The simplicity of the instrumentation is buttressed by the sheer beauty of his voice, which seems to function as the most well-defined melodic device for the group. A description as monotone is tantamount to misunderstanding- it is exactly because of the range and the function over the repetitive rhythms of the instruments that his vocals are so effective: one comes to immediately recognize the nuances in his singing, and appreciate the deep moroseness and sorrow, or hollowness depending on the context, that he utilizes.
Simply put, this is a beautiful album, and despite its failure to invent a whole new genre of music, we must remember that is no reason to deem it unworthy. Interpol is an invitation to enjoy melancholy, and to ignore it as well. After all, it is important to note that these musicians were philosophy majors before their record deals, not drop-outs. "Turn on the Bright Lights" is an intellectual invitation, fraught with existential positions one need only pay attention to to recognize. This album is not a foray into depression, it is an acknowledgement of beauty in both the dark and the light, and is a hell of a lot of fun to dance to. These are not cheap, Joy Division knock-offs. They are be
autiful musicians, coming to fruition on their own.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now is the time,
Interpol's debut reaches the greatness of such icons as Joy Division and Nirvana. Like Unknown Pleasures or Nevermind, the album holds up to repeated listenings, and begs for more. But just like Nirvana or Joy Division, the pressure will be on to see whether these guys can deliver on their promise, or whether they will implode under the expectations.
Who cares if this is a commercial hit? It might be better if it is not. If you've had your eyes out for something different and a cut above, where the emotions feel real, your wait is over.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph from the New York scene,
What makes the album really spectacular is the relative lack of crescendos and hook-laden choruses. The band stays together as a tight unit churning out music, not being compelled to shock the listener with intense moments and choruses but instead letting the minimalism of the work speak volumes. Songs like "PDA" and "NYC" don't journey on chord structures and stories, but explore minor changes in the music itself that change the entire feel of the song. It is in this minimalist fashion that Interpol has made a CD that you just put on repeat and LISTEN, a situation where it doesn't matter if you listen actively or passively, but remains wholeheartedly enjoyable.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome Back to the Past....,
First, allow me to clear my throat: These guys only bear a SLIGHT semblence to Joy Division in that their lead singer kind of drones on with a fuzzy distortion around his voice and the tunes have a bit of the New Order/Joy Division musicianship MINUS Peter Hook's hypnotic base lines. Finally, Ian Curtis was a much more morose and troubled character whose life bled into his vocals and music.
All that aside, I think this album resembles the airy pop sounds of bands like My Bloody Valentine (albeit on a lighter tip), Catherine Wheel, (again on a lighter tip), and of course Joy Division for the orchestrations. They even have a hint of Smashing Pumpkins in them in their arrangements.
These guys are very good and hearken back to a mix of the early 80's gothic rock and early 90's post grunge rock with the swirling guitars and melodies.
I think this sound has always had a special staying power and its good to see it back in a new package. Matador records has done it again! Think of what you felt when the first Radiohead CD came out: I was impressed but not overwhelmed.
Now think how you felt after listening to "The Bends."
Thats how I feel about this band and I can't wait to see if this spawns record labels to sign other bands with this sound to capture what I predict will be the latest renissance in modern music.
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Turn On The Bright Lights: 10th Anniversary Edition (2xLP+DVD) by Interpol (Vinyl - 2012)