Interpol, Turn On The Bright Lights

Four terms this column will not use to describe the album: ‘Joy Division,’ ‘Ian Curtis,’ ‘New Wave,’ ‘Eighties.’ One that it will: ‘one of the finest albums of the year.’

Yes, Interpol may never shirk its reputation. After all, there’s that voice. It’s a strong, booming voice singing penetrating, unforgettable lyrics and, well, it really does sound so much like that other guy’s voice. Even though the lyrics don’t. And Interpol is from New York, not Manchester. Never mind all that, there’s so much here that should be listened to on its own, without ever considering that band and its music and, of course, what their lead singer did that people always make sure to mention.


Much of Interpol’s new material builds on the same types of structures explored in earlier material, deceptively, surprisingly complex and metamorphic as much of it is. ‘The Specialist,’ from this year’s Interpol EP, showed early signs of Interpol’s ability to create songs with three or more bridges, choruses that seemed like choruses until they were never repeated. Ever-changing verses, rhythms, and tempos, and the most beautifully dynamic bass lines heard since Duran Duran, bar none. But that’s another overt reference point. Is it unavoidable?

Yes, it probably is. And it’s also unavoidable that this album is, very simply, impossible to stop listening to.


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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