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Turn on the Bright Lights
     

Turn on the Bright Lights

4.4 27
by Interpol
 

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There's been a lot of noise in recent days about bands that are trying to revive punk's original spirit, so it's not altogether surprising that some contrarians would inch a bit forward in time -- like this New York quartet, who seem hellbent on recreating the dark, doomy tenor of the post-punk wave that brought ashore bands like Joy Division and Gang of Four back in

Overview

There's been a lot of noise in recent days about bands that are trying to revive punk's original spirit, so it's not altogether surprising that some contrarians would inch a bit forward in time -- like this New York quartet, who seem hellbent on recreating the dark, doomy tenor of the post-punk wave that brought ashore bands like Joy Division and Gang of Four back in '79 or so. While sometimes slavishly imitative -- singer Paul Banks does a frighteningly precise channel of the late Ian Curtis on songs such as "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down" -- Interpol are no one-trick pony. On "Obstacle One," the combination of brittle guitar scratch and repeating rhythm patterns coalesce into a drone that's both alluring and hypnotic; the more fleshed-out "Obstacle Two" adds a few more layers of guitar, but the overall feel is no less eerily claustrophobic. "Say Hello to the Angels," on the other hand, lurches along with more abandon, imparting a drunken vibe that wouldn't be out of place on a Strokes album. Surprisingly morose as it may be for an album bearing such a title, Turn on the Bright Lights gives darkened tunnels -- and musical tunnel vision -- a good name.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
One might go into a review like this one wondering how many words will pass before Joy Division is brought up. In this case, the answer is 16. Many are too quick to classify Interpol as mimics and lose out on discovering that little more than an allusion is being made. The music made by both bands explores the vast space between black and white and produces something pained, deftly penetrating, and beautiful. Save for a couple vocal tics, that's where the obvious parallels end. The other fleeting comparisons one can one whip up when talking about Interpol are several -- roughly the same amount that can be conjured when talking about any other guitar/drums/vocals band formed since the '90s. So, sure enough, one could play the similarity game with this record all day and bring up a pile of bands. It could be a detrimental thing to do, especially when this record is so spellbinding and doesn't deserve to be mottled with such bilge. However, this record is a special case; slaying the albatross this band has been unfairly strangled by is urgent and key. Let's: there's another Manchester band at the heart of "Say Hello to the Angels," but that heart is bookended by a beginning and end that approaches the agitated squall of Fugazi; the torchy, elegiac "Leif Erikson" plays out like a missing scene from the Afghan Whigs' Gentlemen; the upper-register refrain near the close of "Obstacle 1" channels Shudder to Think. This record is no fun at all, the tension is rarely resolved, and -- oh no! -- it isn't exactly revolutionary, though some new shades of gray have been discovered. But you shouldn't allow your perception to be fogged by such considerations when someone has just done it for you and, most importantly, when all this brilliance is waiting to overwhelm you.
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
Interpol's sleek, melancholy sound is a thing of glacial beauty.
Entertainment Weekly - Evan Serpick
One of the most exciting new sounds of the year. (A-)

Product Details

Release Date:
08/20/2002
Label:
Matador Records
UPC:
0744861054528
catalogNumber:
10545
Rank:
860

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Turn on the Bright Lights 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am hooked. it has become my daily "soundtrack". Still trying to decipher some of the lyrics- but that's what makes it great. i actually care what they're saying...great sexy sound, perfect for making out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Interpol has to be the most under rated band ever. While Interpol may have a reputation for being gloomy but once you thoroughly listin to their cds and get to know the lyrics you get to really appreciate their music, as gloomy as it may be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i found out about interpol from afriend about 2 years ago, shortly after the release of this c.d. and im still listening. Everything they have done to date is art
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry Steph but the bands you like are nothing like Interpol so that's probably why you don't like this New York group. I love this cd,this band, and their new punk revival style. I don't know about you though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It took me a couple listens to really appreciate this album, but then when I saw Interpol live I realized that they are truly the most talented band around right now, and that "T.O.T.B.L." doesn't do them the justice that they deserve. I'm not a huge fan of how the album was recorded (I prefer the vocals to be more clear), but once you hear the songs performed live you realize that they are AMAZING (especially "Stella"- nothing beats Paul's vocals in person).
Guest More than 1 year ago
It sounds like Doves, especially on songs like "NYC" and "A Time to be so Small." I like the iced-over sound, but the vox are unimpressive. I wouldn't call them refreshing, because they are really nothing new. The Stills are similar, and a much better band. Still, I can tell they are an honest band that will grow and hopefully get better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This emerging group is so great! I hope they release some more albums that are just as good as this. This is a very clean and new sound. Very fun to listen to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best debut CD's I have ever heard. It is far better than Interpol's follow up to it, Antics. Their song is refreshing and good in this time when we need it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Buy an Easterhouse CD instead
Guest More than 1 year ago
that coming from someone who likes jimmy eat world...yeah, ok. interpol = refreshing
Guest More than 1 year ago
This record is a welcome respite from all of the sound-alike wannabe punk/hard rock bands out right now. I too strongly hear the Joy Division connection but I also hear a bit of 1980s Bowie. My guess is that some other reviewers may be just a tad too young to remember the early 80s bands, making them a bit unappreciative of this band's sound.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first thing I thought when I first listened to this group was... this is different. The bands blends everything so well together that the melodies and lyrics are mesmerizing. The second song is the song that is simply mesmerizing. I highly recommend this album to anybody.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...to a wonderful band. Electronic, kinda. Trip/hippy, kinda. Mod, very much so. This band is great. New York at it's best. This album made me laugh and dance and applaud.
Pink_Cuppah More than 1 year ago
Interpol's debut is their best work to date in my opinion. This CD is really unified, and the songs fit together so well. I really like the deep emotion put into this album, and the music is intricate and involved. It's just really well made.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok ok this is the best cd you will ever hear in your life...the musics good...the rhythm...the vocalist...everything...i wanna see them live! you will get the fattest boner once you hear these guys...you ladies will get wet!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This record is one of the best records in a while. I can listen to the CD from the beginning to the end, over and over and over...Everything--the music, the vocals, the production, etc.--deserves an applause. I just wish they have better PR behind them...just like The Strokes, whose music is not as good as The Interopl's but get more publicity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry but this whole album sounds like Cake's mediocre song Short Skirt Long Jacket except for sung by a guy with a really annoying accent or something. The instrumentals are pretty good but the lack of emotion and bad vocals ruin what could be an ok album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic album.I highly recommend it
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