Saturday, July 12, 2008


Turn on the Bright Lights-
Status: Out as of 2002
Label: Matador
Rating: 2.5 Feathers

The opening lines of the album 'Surprise will sometimes come' is a horrible omen for the debut album of New York City's Interpol. With four sharply dressed NYU grads and a huge following, you'd expect them to make an innovative, attention-grabbing album. Your expectations are too high. The album starts with 'Untitled'. It's drawn out and a tad boring. I definitely wouldn't have chosen this to be the opening because it doesn't make you want to listen to the rest of the album. 'Obstacle 1' should've been in 'Untitled'(s) place because it offers a much more varying upbeat sort of mood. Sam Fogarino's drums are perfect in the sense that they are weird but fitting. This song makes no sense lyrically, but musically it's brilliant and full of hooks and Paul Bank's monotone vocals were made for this song. 'NYC', not New York City but as the lyrics suggest, New York cares, is quieter. It starts out soft, but once the chorus comes in it gets more appealing. Something I noticed was the lyrics contained the album title. 'PDA' is completely different than the rest of the album. It starts with a pulsing drumbeat and it's much heavier than what you'd expect. With lyrics like 'we have 200 couches' help add to the obscurity of the album. 'Say Hello To The Angels' quite honestly makes me feel nauseous when I first listen to it. The bass and drums at the beginning don't fly well with my equilibrium. The lead guitar, however, is reminiscent to that of The Strokes. When 'Hands Away' played, I didn't even realize it was on until the next song came on. You think, as the lyrics hint, 'Oh, what happened?' 'Obstacle 2' is very properly placed in the album due to the fact that you wake up when it comes on. It's significantly more appealing than the last two songs. 'Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down' is very dull. You certainly realize that it is the longest song on the album and you want it to end. 'Roland' sounds very different from the rest of the album. With Carlos D.'s deep bass-line and with Paul's very robotic voice, it's good for someone who likes your basic 2:50 pop song. 'The New' as you will quickly realize, like 'Stella' is another sleeper. It's just monotonous and too calm. 'Leif Erikson', named for Leif Ericson, is also very quiet but it feels like it's got more to offer than the others. It's still not the greatest. By the end of the album, when you arise from your nap, you think, 'That was it?' The album is simply a few gems surrounded by dust. Daniel Kessler has a very distinct style, but does he have to start out every song with a repetitive guitar intro and puncture every song with a long guitar rant? This is a very talented band with some catchy tunes and I love their future work, but you cannot turn on lights bright enough to keep me awake through this album.
"I'll be honest, we don't always know exactly what Paul means with his lyrics." Carlos D.

Video for Obstacle 1

Interpol's Official Website
Note: I changed 'stars' in the rating to 'feathers'. Also, this album was released in 2002 so it's not as recent as the first two. I hope you enjoy! I appreciate the comments!


Arnold Layne said...

Nicely written! Some will think that Turn On the Bright Lights is a work of art, while others will think it is a great album for a band's first work, but is still surpassed by Antics. I think you described the album perfectly, though if you're on a long car ride and feel like listening to some quite, calm, background music, I would recommend "Untitled" It has an artful drone to it that will put you to sleep in the nicest way.

I love how Carlos D. plays bass, either hunched over, bass below waist, or with the tip of one foot shooting into the air.

Double Hawk said...

Carlos D. is very entertaining when he plays. Daniel Kessler dances around when he plays so he's also very entertaining. This was my first 'bad' review so to speak so I hope you enjoyed it. I agree, Antics was so much better.

Anonymous said...

You slew them in the nicest most lyrical way Double Hawk. I'll have to listen to the video later...

Lily Hydrangea said...

I waited until I had plenty of time to enjoy reading your latest review & I am so happy that I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

-the base drums don't fly well with my equilibrium,
-the album is simply a few gems surrounded by dust.
You are a natural DH

Lily Hydrangea said...

I suggest you add the email this post feature where the little envelope appears at the end of each post so that people can send other people your posts.

Double Hawk said...

Okay, I added the e-mail thing. Thank you for your wonderful comments!

Lily Hydrangea said...

Thank you!

Double Hawk said...

You're very welcome!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

This was definitely one of my favorite songs to dance to when I used to go out......ah.....those were the days!