The good news is that in the battle of 2010 Joy Division acolytes, Interpol's new record is miles ahead of the one released earlier this year by Editors. The bad news is, that ain't sayin' much. Editors seem to copying Joy Division's sound as closely as possible, while the more talented and more original Interpol is trying their darnedest to re-create JD's icy desolation. To me, what's supposed to pass for an intensely moody atmosphere comes off as a sleepy 45-minute disc.
Everyone tells me that Interpol's first two records are classics, so maybe I'll have to check them out eventually, but I'm not any "classic" out of their self-titled fourth LP.
As gloom merchants, Interpol more or less fit the bill, singing lines like "peaceful lives run away from me" and "release me, lover." But I'm not really fully buying the tortured-soul act from the Interpol singer. The flatness in his singing is symptomatic of a lot of the music on this record. It's like trudging along on a treadmill for 45 minutes -- and not one of those fancy treadmills that adjusts grade, resistance, and speed.
After listening to Interpol a handful of times, I have to wonder why they don't play up their danceability more (as they do somewhat successfully on the track below, "Barricade"). The drummer's clearly the star of the show here. He's great, but even his considerable powers can't keep me attentively listening to his band's edge-less and sleepy music.
Best song: Opening track "Success" is, by far, the best song on Interpol. It's all downhill from there, though.
Deja vu: Carefully cultivated gloominess
I'd rather listen to: American Music Club's San Francisco
"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.
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