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Interpol

3.8 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The long-awaited fourth album from New York s INTERPOL finds them exploring dark musical landscapes of layered depth and intensity. In contrast to 2007 s Our Love To Admire, this self-titled opus hangs together as an album, a set of very different songs that thematically connect. From the highly melodic Barricade and Lights through the snarling Memory Serves and the extraordinary triptych of connected tracks that close the album, Interpol have never made work this emotionally resonant or packed with crescendos.



Mixer Alan Moulder has brought the rhythm section back to the fore, anchoring a thicket of orchestral sound that brings to mind touchstones from black metal to 70s art rock, but always remains identifiably Interpol. Hypnotic, bizarre, always indelible, Interpol is the band s magnum opus.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 7, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B003UDBSW8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,455 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By H. Jin on October 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I'm pretty cynical about music fans who protest that their favourite band's album is a Grower that needs ten or so listens to fully "get". For me, "grower" often means "this album's bad but the fans won't admit it". And after listening to this album a couple of times and just not getting into it, I felt my fellow Interpol fans were in denial again. I actually had my two star "They've Blown It" review ready to go. But I didn't want to give up on Interpol, and it did take a while for me to get OLTA, so I decided to give it a few more spins. And then something just clicked. I'd catch myself humming and singing songs I'd dismissed as boring or generic, and I suddenly got where those experimental tracks were coming from. Believe the fans, 'Interpol' is a true grower; easy to dismiss as mediocre or unfocussed on first listen, but it will reward you if you put the work in.

First things first: what's the album sound like? We heard comments that it would be a return to the sound of 'Bright Lights', and others that it would be full of orchestral epics even more ambitious than 'Our Love'. The answer is that it's a bit of both, and this is where the "grower" part comes in. 'Interpol' is as dark and difficult as their debut, but it's dressed up in the same heavy production and instrumentation that characterised OLTA. So whereas 'Bright Lights' was raw and intimate, 'Interpol' requires a fair effort to dig out those riffs, melodies, and hooks. Don't be fooled by 'Barricade' into thinking this is full of radio-friendly pop gems, there's very little here that is instantly accessible or an easy listen.

'Interpol' basically follows the formula of OLTA by having half the songs follow the standard Interpol sound, and half pushing in ambitious new directions.
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Format: Audio CD
Interpol is not a band that grabs you instantly. You have to spend some time with them to get the full impact of their music. Their songs unfold slowly. I'm afraid that in this era of collective ADD, no one will give this one the time it needs to reveal itself. "Interpol" is not a collection of singles. It is a concept album meant to be experienced from beginning to end. In interviews promoting this album, the band has said that this follows a relationship as it disintegrates. The pleading, the bargaining, the anger, the hurt & finally, acceptance. It's all here & it's a haunting & emotional ride. Listen, with a good pair of headphones, from beginning to end, multiple times. You'll be rewarded.
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Format: Vinyl
Like a young actress who won her Oscar a bit early or , more appropiate , an old indie favourite that has now a substantial fanbase , Interpol have not been given the credit their work deserves ever since 2004's Antics won them a wider audience .
I , though , still find present in their records the qualities that made me love that band so much in the first place : an extremely dark romantism , Paul Banks striking baritone and their strong , punctual songwritting , " born out of a forced discipline " as drummer Greg Drudy has said in an recent interview .
Lyrics rarely say something specific in rock music and here its no different . What's so capturing instead is this whole sense of unintentional menace of enigmatic lines like " I've got two secrets but i only told you one ..." from " Success " or those nightmarishly oh-la-la's towards the end of " Memory Serves " . Stand out tracks include " Barricade " , " Success " , " Lights " and ( personal favourite ) " Try It Out " with it's devastating climax . Critics may follow trends but music fans know better and should stick with this talented group for the long run .
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Format: Audio CD
Well, someone must not have been happy with the Capitol/Interpol corporate merger. Just one album, the experimental "Our Love To Admire," and Interpol find themselves back with independent label Matador. This self titled album with the exploding gray Interpol logo with a black background sums the whole thing up; the music is dark and fractured. In short, a return to form.

This is both good and bad. While there is nothing here as mind blowing as "The Lighthouse" was on the previous album, Interpol's mixture of Joy Division/Psychedelic Furs malevolence and malaise pulses through the core of this album, with black growls like "Success" and the sad drone of "Always/The Man I Am" piercing through the murk. Alan Moulder did these mixes, which reflects his expertise in making bleakness sound alluring, with guitars sounding like they're blaring from the back of an auditorium and making things bass heavy. That approach works even better on the uptempo "Barricade," building the song to its final punch.

Overall, the knockouts are not as consistent as they were on "Our Love to Admire," but "Interpol" is more cohesive as an album. Interpol go back to basics on this album, and the payoff is worth the listen.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a very different record for Interpol. First and foremost: it's a production-oriented album. The crackling gothic guitar harmonies and snappy bass-lines we've become familiar with on previous albums have taken a back seat to methodic, ominously-layered arrangements. Instead, we see the band relying more than ever on a detached synth-ambiance and the icy, multitracked vocal work of Paul Julian Banks to flesh out the hollow skeleton of dark rockers that make up this album.

Due to their overwhelming subtlety, it's very easy to miss how much time and energy must have gone into arranging the vocals on this album (the number of vocal tracks on Always Malaise alone would be enough to exhaust Freddie Mercury himself), but the minor keys, half-steps, and deadpan delivery remain true to any of PJB's best moments.

What isn't subtle--in any way--is the melange of album art rendering a 3D image of the band's name being blown to smithereens by an unseen force. Some might be inclined to interpret this as the band foreshadowing its own break-up. This is, apparently, the last Interpol record that will feature the band's original bassist and keyboard player. Others might see it, however, as the band anticipating the backlash it would get from fans in response the new direction it takes. After all, there are still a hefty amount of Interpol "fans" out there who remain steadfast in waiting for them to selflessly mimic what they were doing eight years ago on Turn On The Bright Lights.

I say let them evolve. This album took a bold step forward. It captures all of the haunting, cold and calculated mystique of their previous work and sends it careening through space on a quiet sonic journey to the outer limits. This is Interpol, post-Interpol. This is Interpol 2.0.
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