By ERIK ZOTTNICK
Interpol’s new self-titled album doesn’t really tread new ground and probably won’t win the band any new fans, but it retains the danceable low-end and attacking guitars of their older albums.
Lead singer Paul Banks is at it again with words of woe and lovelorn despair as undecipherable as ever. “Thieves and snakes need homes,” he wails in his monotone voice on “Barricade.” Indeed, he’s no Morrissey. He is his own lyricist in his own stylistic right.
However, the lyrics seem a little tired at times. “Tonight a special memory serves me / And I’ll wait to find.” Interpol seems to be trying to make a less rocking, more enveloping album, but they are not always successful. Though the music is a bit more complicated, they often seem like partially reconstructed versions of their older songs. These things have been done before, and they’ve been done better.
There’s no “Roland” or “Slow Hands” or “PDA” to be found here. The songs are a littler more stripped down, a little less introspective than before, never crescendoing into those beautiful moments Interpol was so good at. This is evident in the single “Lights,” where the song just keeps building, but never seems to really build to anything.
If you know that song, it’s a good indicator of how the rest of the album will sound. Personally, I just wish they would just rock out more, instead of showing so much restraint for the duration of the album. There are still those beautiful moments peppered throughout the album, it’s just not as consistent as the past albums.
The pace of the album slows to a crawl towards the middle, and these songs just seem tired. It just doesn’t seem like the band’s having fun. There are things to be found here, including lots of harmonies and background vocals that aren’t immediately apparent when you first listen.
The rhythm section of Carlos D and Sam Fogarino stand out as in the past. Paul Banks’ signature wail is still on display, but at times comes off as lazy. There are still bits to be found in “Interpol,” including standout tracks like the opener, “Success,” “Barricade,” and “Summer Well.”
I wanted to like this album more, I really did, but it becomes a bit tedious at times. The problem isn’t that the songs are bad—they’re actually good. They just pale in comparison to what came before, which this album must stand against.
I’m still a really big fan, and will continue to support them. The album just hasn’t grown on me so much. Perhaps like their past albums, “Our Love To Admire” included, it will.