Interpol: Interpol

Where Bright Lights -- as well as Antics and Our Love to Admire -- were full of peppy, upbeat indie rock classics, Interpol decidedly slows things down and goes for the artsy effect here, much to the chagrin of some long-time fans. (Myself included). While there are some bright spots on the album, the whole can be easily summed up as the band's most flawed effort to date -- a crushing blow to those fans who waited patiently during those three years between albums.

What the rest of the critics are saying:

Click Track: The problem is that there's little to identify with on "Interpol." Interpol always seemed like a marriage of convenience, made up of people who wanted to be in a band and just happened to end up in Interpol...Interpol's disconnect is heard throughout the new album, which is directionless, bland and just generally boring.

Turn It Up: The songs trace the arch of an unraveling relationship, as need gives way to obsession, desperation and finally despair. Singer Paul Banks turns a few cutting phrases ("I did not take to analysis/So I had to make up my mind"), bringing a bit of dark humor to what is otherwise a somber, even morose, cycle of late-night soul-purging.

A.V. Club: Not all of Interpol is a drag, though the highlights come early: "Summer Well" cultivates an insistently danceable groove that culminates with one of those extended, bass-driven outros that made Interpol's name, and "Lights" shamelessly milks all the drama it can out of its slow-building climb to Paul Banks' pained chorus. But even in its best moments, Interpol is an echo of a more exciting time in the band's history, a period that seems increasingly distant with each new release.

Spin: When artists self-title albums, it's often a statement of purpose or of redefinition, but that's not the case here. Interpol sounds both strangely distant and overly familiar, like a band struggling to remember who they are.

Interpol is out now via Matador.

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