2010 was a good year for me in regards to music, many of my favourite modern groups released albums, and among them Interpol released their self-titled album. This is Interpol’s fourth album, and it being the self-titled album is kind of funny but this is hardly the first time a band has had their self-titled album be something other than their first.
Interpol was going through a transition, bass player Carlos Dengler was preparing to leave the group and after their third album “Our Love to Admire,” there was tension in regards to creativity. Paul Banks (lead singer and rhythm guitar) was not pleased with the scene they had fallen into, many bands go through this once they become popular, “Our Love to Admire,” was the first album to get nationwide attention upon release. Paul was taking the potential threat of “selling out” so badly he was even considering moving to New Jersey, which he may have done for all I know, but the point is they were New York’s new big band to love, so that move would have been a big move.
“Interpol” the album is similar to “Our Love to Admire,” insofar that it does not compare to their first two albums, there is a solid consistency of quality throughout both albums but neither are awe inspiring like “Turn on the Bright Lights,” and “Antics,” except for one song, “Lights.” Sometimes that all it takes, one song to rekindle our faith in a band, I was ready to get used to the idea that Interpol had already pasted their prime after two albums (which isn’t at all uncommon) and I would have to enjoy good but not great music from them from now on. “Lights,” is a different story, it’s the only song on the last two albums that as good as any song on the first two albums.
“Lights” does something I love, it builds itself up, it starts out slow and the rhythm never changes but the tempo does. At first, slow and calm and by the end fast and intense, this is one of those songs that really should be listened too on high volume; it will help you notice the change in tempo and also in volume. Interpol is very much a band of small details if you listen to “Lights” on a higher volume you are more likely to catch some of these subtleties.
Like all Interpol songs the lyrics are deep and mysterious, leaving any guess for interpretation as good as any other. The video is strange visuals, intense strange visuals of course, and perhaps a specifically intended meaning lies within. I had heard that the video was a visualisation of medical/chemical process but I can’t remember what it was and I can no longer find information about it. It would figure for Interpol to do something that far out, but whether or not that is the case I do not know.
Until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.
- Colin Kelly