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Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Mysterious NYC singer-songwriter JULIAN PLENTI returns from several years of hibernation with his debut album. Featuring Mike Stroud of Ratatat, Sam Fogarino of Interpol, Charles Burst of the Occasion and Striker Manley of Stiff Jesus, this incredibly varied album runs the gamut from gorgeous folk-tinged acoustic songs to huge, orchestral guitar anthems. The palette changes from black and white to color and back, from regal Eastern European synth sounds of "Only If You Run" to the sad but triumphant brass of "Unwind."
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 4, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B002BSH26O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,577 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Greg Kinne on August 4, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Pseudonyms and side groups are some of the signs that a musician has made it and can release off shoots without damaging their main brand. Paul Banks of Interpol is the latest to cash in on the phenomena in the moodier guise of Julian Plenti. On "Julian Plenti. Is...Skyscraper" Banks fleshes out songs that had been growing moldy in his archives. What's surprising is that the songs that had been previously left for dead are infinitesimally more interesting than Interpol's last studio album "Our Love To Admire." Freed from the constraints and expectations of that band (brand), Banks cuts loose on an album that holds its own among the highlights of Interpol's career.

"Julian Plenti Is...Skyscraper" is not much a departure in sound or scope from Bank's somber songwriting skills that were first demonstrated on "Turn On The Bright Lights." The feeling of dread and despair is evident on most of these tracks as Banks can effectively portray himself as just another lost soul struggling to make it in these dire times. "Only If You Run" offers a solution in the form of drug-induced escapism that some might find palpable depending on the circumstance. On the other hand, "Fun That We Have" follows as the hangover heavy reality that there is no escape from the continuing monotony and daily malaise.

The strings and sampled accents of "Skyscraper" are a nice touch that doesn't detract from the underlying delicate acoustic guitar work. The most Interpol-like song amongst this lot is the fragmented and brooding "Games For Days." "Games For Days" features a great vocal and an overtly searing guitar that has been somewhat absent on this album. "Madrid Song" breaks the album into side 1 and 2 and feels a bit like filler.
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Wow! Paul really pulls it off here. After being put in the position where everybody said Paul was an Ian Curtis rip off and so was Interpol( they sound more like the Chameleons with that guitar interplay anyway ), They are their own band and have their own sound. In Julian Plenti's "Skyscraper" you can hear that Paul has his own style and sense of experimentation. It was the perfect time for it too. If you listen to "C'Mere" on Antics you can tell that Paul was going to do something on his own. The album sounds perfect from start to finish. Track 3, "Skyscraper" is simple in lyrics but has a ton of depth to it. You get one part soft and ambient and one part pop mixed on the album. All in all, Paul is great as Julian Plenti. Like Bowie and all of his alternate egos, Julian just may dissapear. But who knows? Maybe another my pop up. He has alot of talent obviously. The album is well worth the listen and if you can forget "Interpol" while you listen, you can hear the man as himself. Thats the hard part and the trick. Don't mix the two together.Wonderful poet and fantastic musician. There is a long career ahead of Paul(Julian). A*
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Format: MP3 Music
For anyone that may claim this is the "missing" Interpol album or other such things I have to disagree. Maybe these songs were thrown out by the band to record, but, the sound of the album is a distinct departure from what's gone before.

Lyrically it's still melancholic but the music provides a great backdrop for the vocals. The use of acoustic guitars and strings gets well away from the heavy bass lines and effects of Interpol's work.

With its own distinct sound and personality the album is a resounding first release for a talented vocalist that so many already know and love. I'm looking forward to the live dates that are promised.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is loaded with suprizes. It's mello to rock'in pace range includes an amped acoustic (Spanish or spaghetti-western influenced?) finger-picking guitar backed up by a small orchestra: Bass cello, cello, violin, viola, all-manner of saxophone used in alternative and traditional fashion (strings typically) and a carefully placed trumpet... oh yeah and a cat's meow? Never mind that text message during 'Games For Days'. Haunting, spine tingling minor & flat notes gave me goose-bumps during a couple of songs (Fun That We Have and Fly As You Might). If you like Interpol, you won't be disappointed; I hate that cliche but it's true.

Note: An extension of this album can be found in Paul Banks' self titled album, "Banks." It has more fast-paced songs than this one - check it out.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I had previewed the majority of this album via YouTube, so I knew I wanted it. I recently started using my turntable again and knew I wanted this on vinyl for its superior sound quality. It's better than I hoped, it did also come with a code to DL a digital copy, BONUS. I'll probably use to listen in the car.
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By WillGro on February 7, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
Julian Plenti is amazing, dark and layered, well produced and well executed. I hope Interpol stops touring for a while so we can see more Julian solo. I went to see him play live and really enjoyed it. I loved this album and you will too if you enjoy the vocals and writing of Julian Plenti.
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Format: Audio CD
Sorry for all the Arctic Monkeys, Dylan, Ben Harper, Iggy Pop, Neil Young, Doherty, White Lies, Scott Matthews, but Plenty gave us, until now, the best album of the year. And "No Chance Survival" is a piece of the art. Qu'on se le dise.
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