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New Interpol release is depressingly forgettable

By Caleb Slinkard
On September 9, 2010

Interpol's Sept. 7 self-titled release is a forgettable foray into indie rock that does little to thrust the band into the public consciousness. A follow up to their mainstream 2007 release "Our Love to Admire," Interpol struggles to regain the credibility they gained with their previous two albums.

"Interpol" begins with "Success," an addicting and dark beat that evolves into a sinister chorus. "Lights" is a hauntingly disorienting track, with striking vocals layered over a steady bass beat that ultimately lacks a satisfying climax. "Barricade" begins with a hammering bass pedal before transitioning to a very catchy yet eerie chorus. "Summer Well" and "Memory Serves" evoke movement of some kind and even a hint of joy but fail to fully realize their potential. "Always Malaise (The Man)" and "The Undoing" are frustratingly discordant.

"Interpol" is definitely mood music. Mellow and plodding, the album is a conduit for 21st century depression and could function as a therapeutic effort for any dissatisfied 20-something.

While crafting sonically interesting songs and a very consistent musical theme throughout the album, Interpol failed to create anything attention-grabbing. "Interpol" is a great album to have on in the background or to study to, but it will never be on anyone's top 10 list. If Interpol hopes to become something other than a soundtrack, they must embrace the elements of their sound that make them unique. "Interpol" is rhythmically pleasing but lacks the necessary pop sensibilities to make them relevant.

The lack of contrast on the album, while providing a deep thematic tie throughout the 10 tracks, allows Interpol to slip into the cracks between genres. They're not hard enough to be rock, not catchy enough to be pop, not loud enough to be dance and not unique enough to be indie. Instead of this resulting in a fresh sound, "Interpol" comes off as redundant. Perhaps Interpol is simply too intelligent for the rest of us, or maybe they're too scared to sound like anyone else. Either way, the world is sad enough without being sonically drenched in melancholy.


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